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Have you heard of Ms. Veteran America? Unlike the Miss America pageant, Ms. Veteran America, founded in 2012, scores contestants in four categories: Interview, Talent, Military History and Advocacy. Proceeds from the event provide housing for homeless female veterans and their children. According to the Ms. Veteran America website, female Veterans are the fastest growing homeless population in America. According to recent statistics, there are in excess of 55,000 homeless female veterans in the United States, and this pageant will raise thousands for the cause.

Kat Kaelin (left) in Afghanistan Source: People.com

SSG Kat Kaelin (left) in Afghanistan
Source: People.com

Kat Kaelin, called the “Real-Life G.I. Jane” by Peopleserved on a Cultural Support Team (CST) supporting the Ranger Task Force in 2011. She is one of the high-caliber contestant in the 2016 Ms. Veteran America competition, and registration is still open for challengers. The winner will be required to conduct at least 100 hours of community service and dedicate herself to speaking engagements to raise awareness for the cause, but in return she will receive $15,000 towards education or vocation requirements such as a vehicle.

Ms Veteran America 2015 Kerri Turner Source: Ms Veteran America

Ms Veteran America 2015 Kerri Turner
Source: Ms. Veteran America

 

Ms. Veteran America was founded by female veteran Jaspen Boothe, and she hopes that it will grow in popularity this year as they seek to raise more money in the fight against female veteran homelessness and inspire others to be active leaders in their communities. Registration closes on April 30th, and the national pageant will be held in Washington, DC on October 9th.

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Chris Fox is a Project Coordinator at USC’s Sol Price School of Public Policy, where he recently graduated with an MPA. Prior to that, he was a research fellow at the DHS Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events (CREATE), where his focus was on homegrown violent extremism. He also holds a BA in Psychology and an AAS in Information Systems Management. Chris served for seven years as a TACP, is a veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and continues to serve as a JTAC Instructor in the Texas Air National Guard.