Miss Colorado 2021 is an active-duty soldier in the United States Army who is on a mission to raise awareness about mental health issues affecting past, present, and future service members, as well as to prevent veteran suicide.
Spc. Maura Spence-Carroll is an all-source intelligence analyst with the 4th Infantry Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team, based in Fort Carson, Colorado.
For years, the Katy, Texas native has competed in many beauty pageant competitions before finally winning the miss Colorado beauty contest in 2021.
Her mother, who spent years as a professional singer in a Celtic folk-rock band and taught her daughter classical music, encouraged Spence-Carroll to enter the world of beauty pageants when she was 13 years old.
“I believe I was just a quirky child in general,” she explained, “and I would loiter around the playground.” “She thought it would be a fantastic idea to do something to increase my self-esteem. I was ecstatic when she originally informed me I could compete. I was overjoyed,” she told Fox News in an interview.
She enlisted in the U.S. Army in 2018 after completing one semester of college and realizing that the cost and debt burden of pursuing a degree was not worth it.
After conversing with a buddy who had served, she enrolled after seeing an online Army advertisement.
Spence-Carroll told 5280 Magazine, “My job as a soldier comes first.” “We’re soldiers 24 hours a day, seven days a week, but happily, we get breaks during the day, just like any other civilian job.”
“I was diagnosed with ADHD after I entered the service,” recalls Spence-Carroll. “Being in an infantry unit, which is such a male-dominated experience and so distinct from civilian life, I understood that obtaining mental health care still carries a stigma.”
Spence-Carroll has arranged coat drives for veterans, paid a visit to the Rocky Mountain Regional VA Medical Center to thank veterans for their service, and begun working with Army leadership to improve mental health care for service members and veterans.
According to her unit’s intelligence officer-in-charge, 1st Lt. Andrew Looss, “Spc. Spence has a fiery personality that drives her to be proactive. She is a self-starter who can complete projects with little supervision. Her obligations are significantly more than those of a specialist, and she easily surpasses them. She works well with others and provides a lot of enthusiasm to the battalion and the intelligence department.”
The two reasons why Spc. Maura Spence-Carroll decided to compete in the Miss Colorado and Miss America beauty pageant competitions are: to raise awareness about mental health and to honor her late sister’s memories and dreams.
“My older brother, Sam, is autistic, and he’s seven years older than me,” Spence explains. “I’ve been encouraging people to accept people with all kinds of disabilities through the platform I’ve received from competing in the Miss America competition,” she says.
Spence’s sister, who was a “big fan of Miss America” died in 2015. Her late sister was also a “great admirer of Miss America.”
“At her funeral, I promised her that one day I’d take her to Miss America with me,” Spence said. “I feel like I’m keeping that promise to her now that I’ve won Miss Colorado and am on my way to Miss America.”
Spence and the 4th Infantry Division are hoping for a win, but he has a humble attitude: “I’ll still be Miss Colorado if I don’t win Miss America. In any case, I consider myself to have won if I am given the opportunity to serve my state and country.”
She was also a member of the non-profit organization 22 Too Many: Ending the Military and Veteran Suicide Epidemic.
Article Curled And Modified From Army.mil.