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personal advice ● beyond the spotlight
By Megan Alexander
Ms. Veteran America Allaina
Guitron has served the United
States in the Armed Services,
and now that she is home, she
is serving her fellow service-
women with her title and crown
S taff Sgt. Allaina Guitron is not used to wearing
high heels and crowns. After a very difﬁcult
childhood, she joined the army at age 18, looking
for a challenge, the opportunity to travel and see
the world, and to ﬁnd a home. She has achieved
all of these goals, and now she is currently stationed at Fort
Meade in Maryland. However, after 13 year in the Army,
she discovered a severe lack of services for homeless female
veterans, and it really bothered her. Naturally, she wanted to
do something about it.
Never thinking a pageant might be a stepping stone, a
friend encouraged her to check out the Ms. Veteran Amer-
ica program. She quickly learned that the pageant would
beneﬁt homeless female veterans and their families, and so
she enlisted. On Oct 13th, 2013, out of 20 ﬁnalists, all with
a military background, this 31-year old was crowned Ms.
Veteran America, offering her the opportunity to focus and
work on this new goal. And also that night, more than
$90,000 was raised for the organization Final Salute, which
beneﬁts homeless female veterans. I was delighted to learn
of this inspirational program and interview Allaina about
her new title and her goals of service and aid that come
PHOTOS BY THE UMBRELLA SYNDICATE
Megan Alexander: Tell me about the Ms. Veteran
America organization. What is it all about?
Allaina Guitron: Ms. Veteran America not only honors
our service and sacriﬁce, but it also recognizes the roles we
have as mothers, daughters, wives and sisters. Grace, beau-
ty and poise are three things never associated with women
who serve; however, underneath that camouﬂage is a beau-
MA: Why did you decide to participate?
AG: I felt compelled to run for Ms. Veteran America once
I became aware of Final Salute and the 55,000 homeless
women veterans that have gone unassisted on U.S. soil.
MA: Military service and leadership are key compo-
nents - explain these components and the remarkable
women that are being honored.
AG: More often than not, women veterans are the invisible
warriors in the services. We are often looked at as though
we don’t exist, when, in fact, women have been serving in
every war since the Revolutionary War, but it’s only within
the past 60-plus years that we have been formally recog-
nized for our sacriﬁces. Ms. Veteran America honors the