Saturday, January 8, 2011

Pageant Press: Hard at Work

by Matt Desmond
January 4, 2011

Becky Minger isn’t the typical beauty queen. The Sylvania resident and Bowling Green State University graduate may have been crowned 2010’s Miss Ohio, and be on her way to Las Vegas for the 2011 Miss America Pageant, but she’s more than a stereotypical “beauty queen.” Minger remembers where she came from, and she has a job to do.

...The whirlwind of competition has taken over Minger’s life, for now—she’s already traveled 20,000 miles just in the state of Ohio. “Miss Ohio is my full-time job,” she says. But she wouldn’t trade it. “I’ve had a lot of experiences most people just out of college never would.”

Perhaps nothing has effected Minger more than the people she’s been able to meet and touch. And of those people, no one has been more important than Chris Curtis. Minger met Curtis on a visit to Walter Reed Hospital as a spokesperson for the Thank You Foundation.

“I was there to show support for our wounded warriors, but I was afraid to go in,” she says. “People told me it would be difficult.” But when she met Curtis, an Iraq war veteran badly injured in a plane crash, she was inspired by his courage. “He told me ‘I’m going to walk through the doors of my squadron again,’” she says. “I nicknamed him ‘Rocky,’ which was my nickname growing up.” The two stayed in touch. And a month ago, she found out that Curtis had indeed returned to his unit. “He didn’t even need crutches,” she says. And he’s going to repay her for her support. “He’ll actually be walking me as my escort at Miss America,” she says. “Rocky and Rocky will be there together.”

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