Feedback: Boy Donates Disney Trip To Fallen Soldier's Family


It started with a toy soldier and turned into an all-expense paid trip to Disney World for the family of a fallen Fort Drum soldier.

"We heard about this guy - how he traded a red paper clip up until he got a house - and we wanted to do something," said nine year old Brendan Haas. 

The Kingston, Massachusetts, boy wanted to trade for a trip to Disney World.

He started with a toy soldier.

From there, the trades got bigger and better until Brendan met his goal.

He got tickets to Disney World, including airfare, a stay the the Disney Villas and nearly $900 in Disney gift certificates.

Brendan never had any intention of keeping the trip for himself.

He wanted to give it to a family who lost a soldier in war.

"I think it would make them a lot happier," said Brendan.

He used Facebook to ask people to submit the names of families of fallen soldiers to be entered in the raffle.

"We had people from Wisconsin, Arizona, Texas, Illinois, all over the United States," said Brendan's mother, Melissa.

A name was drawn randomly out of a hat.

The winner was a family just a few towns away in Duxbury, Massachusetts.

1st Lieutenant Timothy Steele was killed in Afghanistan last August when insurgents attacked his unit with an improvised explosive devise.

He was an executive officer with the 10th Mountain Division's 2nd Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team.

"Tim was pretty special to us. He knew what he wanted to do at a very young age," said Jack Steele, Lt. Steele's father.

The West Point graduate was 25 years old when he died.

He left behind a wife and a 2 year old daughter - fittingly named Liberty Hope.

Now, thanks to a nine year old boy with a toy soldier and a dream, Liberty Hope and the rest of the Steele family will spend a week in the "happiest place on earth."

After Disney heard about Brendan's generosity, it tried to give the boy a free trip as a reward.

He turned it down, saying he wanted to give it to another fallen soldier's family.

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Sunday, December 11, 2016
, Watertown, NY

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