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Miss America’s Army Sgt. contestant first ever to show ink on stage

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One of the contestants competing on the Miss America stage Sunday will be only the second to to do so as an active member of the military, and the first to expose her tattoos.

Meet Army Sgt. Theresa Vail, Miss Kansas. When she struts down Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City during the swimsuit competition, she’ll be showing off two large tattoos — the insignia for the U.S. Army Dental Corps on her left shoulder and the Serenity Prayer running down her right side, according to Business Insider.

“Why am I choosing to bear my tattoos? My whole platform is empowering women to overcome stereotypes and break barriers,” she told People Magazine. “What a hypocrite I would be if I covered my ink. How can I tell other women to be fearless and true to themselves if I can’t do the same?”

Those huge tattoos only hint at the person who refuses to do things halfway. Business Insider reported:

Much of Vail’s confidence comes from being an expert M16 marksman, a skydiver, a boxer, a mechanic, fluent Chinese speaker, and a bow hunter who can skin a deer and apparently cooks a mean squirrel stew – skills not usually associated with beauty queens.

Miss Kansas Tattoos
Photo Credit: AC Press

She wasn’t born with her sense of confidence — it was acquired from her father.

“I was bullied when I was a kid. It got so bad that I nearly took my own life,” Vail explains to the magazine. “My dad took me hunting with him and it saved my life. Ever since then, I’ve been an outdoors girl. My passion is empowering girls through male-dominated outdoor sports.”

I don’t believe I ever saw a Miss America pageant before. I may have to tune in to this one though.

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