The Sideshow

Boy wins trip to Disney, gives it to fallen soldier’s family

The Sideshow

A 9-year-old Massachusetts boy who earned an all-expenses-paid Disney World vacation through an innovative Facebook experiment gave the trip away to the family of a soldier killed in Afghanistan.

Brendan Haas created the "Soldier for a Soldier" Facebook page in February. Inspired by the story of the guy who, through a series of trades, turned a paper clip into a house, Haas started with a toy soldier and eventually traded up to $900 worth of Disney gift certificates, airfare and hotel credits.

On Memorial Day, Haas gave the trip to the family of U.S. Army Lt. Timothy Steele, a 25-year-old soldier killed in Afghanistan last year. According to NBC's WHDH-TV affiliate, Haas pulled the name of Liberty Hope Steele, the fallen soldier's now-2-year-old daughter, out of a hat and surprised the Steele family at their Duxbury, Mass., home.

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Not surprisingly, Haas' gesture was followed by dozens of Facebook comments thanking him.

"You're one amazing young man," Ann Marie Smith Braga wrote on the "Soldier for a Soldier" wall. "Our family lives on Hanscom AFB in Bedford, Mass. We are an active duty Army family. I want to thank you from all the Army families here at Hanscom."

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"What you have done is unheard of in this day and age," April Johnson wrote. "I am so grateful for you and others like you! I am featuring your story in my newsletter. You are a very wonderful boy!"

"If everyone was like Brendan there would be no wars," Bob Wade wrote. "Brendan, being 9 years old you may not fully realize how incredibly thoughtful your gift is but someday you will. I hope you continue to do great things in your life. The world needs people like you."

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