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Ms. Veteran America may appear to be a beauty pageant in the same mold as Miss America, Miss World, or similar events. But this contest is different in that it has a purpose far beyond the scope of the event itself; a private charitable organization called Final Salute, Inc. is the direct beneficiary of the contest in more ways than one.
The 2019 Ms. Veteran America Competition will be held on October 13th in Hollywood, California. The 2018 Ms. Veteran America Competition was held on Sunday, October 7 from 6:00 pm to 8 pm at the Hollywood American Legion Post 43.
The yearly pageant includes regional contests and culminates in the main competition held in a different location every year. Ms. Veteran America has been operating every year since 2012.
Ms. Veteran America And Final Salute, Inc.
The mission of Final Salute, Inc. is to support homeless women veterans and their children; the winner of the pageant is expected to perform 100 hours of community service including work that raises awareness of the Final Salute mission and efforts to end veteran homelessness.
Individual competitors are asked to start crowdfunding campaigns to benefit Final Salute, Inc. as part of the contest. Ms. Veteran America also differs from other pageants or beauty contests in when it comes to who may compete.
Aside from putting military women front-and-center, the event includes a military spouse award called Mr. Mom recognizing those who support military women.
Eligible Contestants For Ms. Veteran America
Those eligible for the main competition to select Ms. Veteran America must meet the following requirements; these do NOT include age, height, or weight limitations.
Contestants must be:
A woman who is either a Veteran or still serving;
Able to show documentation of an Honorable discharge;
A veteran or currently serving military member who has completed the initial military service obligation unless the veteran was medically discharged;
In uniform for a minimum of 180 days of active service (above and beyond training requirements);
In good health;
Actively involved in the local community as a volunteer;
Able to adhere to a code of conduct.
Winning Ms. Veteran America
What is required for those who win the competition? Some of the duties will sound familiar to those who know other pageants, beauty contests, state competitions such as “Miss Florida” or national events such as Miss USA.
The winner is required to act as an ambassador for the pageant, but also for the Final Salute organization which is the beneficiary of the Ms. Veteran America competition.
Ms Veteran America will be required “to provide at least 100 hours of community service, during her 12 months as title holder” according to the official site. There is also an obligation to attend speaking engagements and PR events.
The winner acts as an advocate for Final Salute and that agency’s work to help homeless veteran women and their children.
Prizes For Winning Ms. Veteran America
The prize package for winning the final competition includes:
Veteran America crown and sash;
$15,000 towards the purchase of a vehicle or education for the winner and/or dependent children. These funds can also be used to start a business or pay for a home or home repair;
Featured spot in nationwide advertising campaigns;
Attire (for the veteran), round trip airfare, and accommodations paid for two to the following year’s competition.