After a run of sordid beauty-queen stories, it doesn't get much more refreshing -- or inspiring -- than this. A beauty queen lays aside her crown not because of scandal but . . . to serve her country. Meet Jessica Gaulke, who has given up her crown as Minnesota's Queen of the Lakes because her National Guard unit has been activated. Jessica is scheduled for training at Fort Hood, TX and then deployment to Iraq.
The story gets even more dramatic. In the course of her interview by NBC's Natalie Morales on this morning's "Today," Jessica announced that a week from now she will be marrying her fiance.
"Today" generally played the story in positive terms as the graphic it displayed during much of the interview, "Brave Beauty", suggests. Still, Morales couldn't help but inject NBC's official line on the war into the interview:
"Do you have any reservations about going there, especially as you see how it's basically escalated into civil war there?"
Nothing like suggesting to a young woman leaving behind her new husband and her crown that she might be sacrificing in vain.
Jessica was undaunted:
"I don't. Because my unit has taught me that what we're doing over there is something positive, and we are impacting them positively. And so I'm really confident in going over there, because we're doing a good job."
View video here.
Mark was in Iraq in November. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org