Soldier to miss deployment to Iraq to compete in Miss America


An active-duty soldier who recently won a state beauty pageant has been cleared by her superiors to miss a scheduled deployment to Iraq so she can compete in Miss America later this year.

Army specialist Maura Spence-Carroll, 21, was crowned Miss Colorado in June of this year, defeating eleven other women in order to win the prestigious title and qualify for a place in the national competition, which is to take place. in December. .

However, Maura, who is an intelligence analyst stationed at Fort Carson, Colo., Was originally scheduled to go on a rotation to Iraq before Miss America began – until her superiors offered her the option to skip the deployment in order to that she can move forward and compete.

“I volunteered, then my unit said, ‘No, you’re going to have to go to Miss America,’ the beauty queen revealed to Fox News, explaining that the decision to let her out of the manifesto was made even before. that she won Miss Colorado.

Queen: Active-duty soldier Maura Spence-Carroll (right) has revealed she would miss a scheduled deployment to Iraq to compete in Miss America after winning Miss Colorado

On the other side: Maura, 21, originally from Texas but stationed in Fort Carson, Colorado, enlisted in the military in 2018 and now serves as an intelligence analyst

On the other side: Maura, 21, originally from Texas but stationed in Fort Carson, Colorado, enlisted in the military in 2018 and now serves as an intelligence analyst

On the other side: Maura, 21, originally from Texas but stationed in Fort Carson, Colorado, enlisted in the military in 2018 and now serves as an intelligence analyst

Passion: However, the Soldier, pictured with Miss Colorado Teen, has been competing since she was a young teenager and has continued to pursue her love of competitions

Passion: However, the Soldier, pictured with Miss Colorado Teen, has been competing since she was a young teenager and has continued to pursue her love of competitions

“That was before I was Miss Colorado… so they didn’t put me on the manifesto,” she added.

Maura is now helping her unit prepare for her overseas deployment, while also preparing for the competition in December, where she hopes to speak about the importance of mental health care in the military, having battled depression herself. , anxiety and ADHD. .

Her diagnosis of ADHD didn’t come until after she enlisted in the military in 2018 and turned to her medical team for help with her mental health issues – something she says. she thinks more soldiers should be encouraged to do so.

“We really need to take care of mental health now and show the new generations of soldiers going through that mental health care is something we don’t care much about and don’t think is scary,” he said. she declared. noted.

She now speaks regularly about mental health care through her social media accounts, where she discusses her own diagnosis and how therapy has helped her change her life.

Shortly before entering the Miss Colorado Pageant, Maura explained that she spent the “first 20 years of her life” feeling like nothing she did was good enough.

Poignant: Maura vowed to use her new platform to raise awareness about the importance of mental health care in the military, having battled depression and ADHD herself

Poignant: Maura vowed to use her new platform to raise awareness about the importance of mental health care in the military, having battled depression and ADHD herself

Poignant: Maura vowed to use her new platform to raise awareness about the importance of mental health care in the military, having battled depression and ADHD herself

Helping Hand: It wasn't until after joining the military that Maura (pictured at Fort Carson) was diagnosed with ADHD, and she said it helped her change her life completely

Helping Hand: It wasn’t until after joining the military that Maura (pictured at Fort Carson) was diagnosed with ADHD, and she said it helped her change her life completely

Heartache: Maura, pictured with other members of her unit, said she was inspired to advocate for mental health care in honor of her late sister, who drowned in 2015

Heartache: Maura, pictured with other members of her unit, said she was inspired to advocate for mental health care in honor of her late sister, who drowned in 2015

“After all this hard work (for promotion / work / deployment readiness / Miss Colorado readiness) I realized this was the first time in my life that I could honestly say I’m proud of everything. the work I have done, ”she wrote. .

“The validation doesn’t matter, because I KNOW I did well. I spent the first 20 years of my life working twice as hard to get half that far, telling myself that I could do great things if I “just work harder!”

“Completely ignoring the fact that I felt like I was having a hard time keeping my head above water due to undiagnosed inattentive type ADHD.”

She added: ‘[For 20 years] I thought I was the problem. I thought I was inherently bad and was being punished for my inability to achieve the indefinite “best” for years from teachers, counselors, mentors … ‘

After joining the military and seeking professional treatment, Maura says that everything has changed, and she now knows that she is “just wired differently” and therefore her life does not feel like a “neurotypical” person. .

Maura credits her outspoken attitude about mental health to her late sister, who died in a drowning accident at the age of five in 2015 when she fell from a dock.

Occasionally: Soldier says she wants to prevent military families from losing loved one to suicide because she knows how painful it is to lose a family member

Occasionally: Soldier says she wants to prevent military families from losing loved one to suicide because she knows how painful it is to lose a family member

Occasionally: Soldier says she wants to prevent military families from losing loved one to suicide because she knows how painful it is to lose a family member

Start early: Maura has been competing since she was 13 (pictured left)

Start early: Maura has been competing since she was 13 (pictured left)

The soldier says it was the memory of her younger brother and the close relationship they shared that inspired her to speak out in the hope of helping other members of the military with their own problems of Mental Health.

She told Fox News that she wanted to prevent other families from going through the tragedy of losing a loved one – something she hopes to do by working to end soldier suicide.

‘[The loss of a loved one is] heavy on your shoulders for the rest of your life, ”she said. “I watched how my mother suffered.

Maura, who has competed since she was a teenager, originally enlisted in the military after her first semester in college – when she realized the exorbitant cost of her studies and the debt Subsequent student could be avoided if she signed up through the Army Reimbursement Assistance Program.

However, the soldier and beauty queen was raised with a deep respect and appreciation for the military, a philosophy that was passed down by her late grandfather, Bob Boyett, who worked in military intelligence for the Air. Strength.

Now, after serving in the military for three years, she hopes her new platform as Miss Colorado will allow her to raise awareness about mental health issues in the military – while showing others that beauty. comes in many different forms.

About John Tuttle

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