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Miss America Candidate Balances Service and New Role, Inspiring Patriotism

via ABC
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Madison Marsh, an active duty U.S. Air Force officer, recently won the 2024 Miss America pageant, making her the first service member to do so.

She aims to merge her military commitment with her new role, potentially becoming an Air Force recruiter.

Marsh, a pilot and recent graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy, credits the Air Force for supporting her education and interests, including her pursuit of pageants and studies at Harvard.

“We’re really trying to mesh both of these roles together, as me remaining on active duty and maybe potentially becoming a recruiter for the Air Force,” Marsh said.

“Along the way, I’ve learned all of the leadership opportunities and especially what I can do as Miss America,” she said.

“I wouldn’t be able to be Miss America or even gone to Harvard without the opportunities that the Air Force provided. They gave me all of the tools at the Air Force Academy to compete in pageants, to get the scholarships I received, to send me to Harvard while I’m still active duty,” she said.

“So we really want to mesh these two roles together, so I can advocate for people that are armed service members and really try to get more people to join the service.”

She is dedicated to pancreatic cancer research and plans to advocate for cancer detection using artificial intelligence.

“She died when she was 41 years old. We had no cancer history. She was really healthy. She didn’t have any of those high-risk factors, and she still passed away,” Marsh said of her mother.

She sees her future in the nonprofit sector after her Air Force service, aiming to provide hope and support for families affected by cancer.

“I want to be able to provide hope for other families and really push in every sector down from congressional up to research and funding to ensure that everyone is being taken care of,” she said.

“Because if my mom can’t get to be here, I want to ensure that other families get to have their moms, brothers, sisters, fathers, you name it. That’s the type of person that I want to be for my mom.”

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