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Why Everyone Loves Miss Kansas

For starters, the 22-year-old blonde beauty, Theresa Vail, is a sergeant in the U.S. Army, who is a great shot.

Posted on September 15, 2013, at 11:11 p.m. ET

1. Miss Kansas is only the second woman from the armed forces to compete in the pageant.

In 2007, Miss Utah Jill Stevens had served as combat medic in Afghanistan.

2. She's the first contestant to bare her tattoos.

One of her tattoos is an army insignia on her shoulder, which she said is in honor of her father, a dentist in the Army for 33 years. The other tattoo, which has been getting the most attention, is the serenity prayer, on her right side.

The prayer, she says, is to remind her of the past. When she was about 10 years old, she faced bullying and even considered suicide.

In the pageant, nobody shows their tattoos for fear of losing, Vail told Fox News, "What a hypocrite I would be if I say be all you can be, embrace your individuality, embrace your differences, break barriers, if I couldn’t even do that myself."

3. Miss Kansas wants to break down barriers.

"We all face challenges in society. We’re placed under certain convictions and we feel we have to stay under them and I want people to know, it doesn’t matter what society says," Vail told Fox News. "It doesn’t matter what the quote, unquote rules say. You can do whatever you want, whatever you set your mind to, that’s what I did when I showed my tattoos."

4. She said this about her talent portion.

"My original talent was going to be archery. I'm singing by default because there's a clause against projectile objects." -Miss Kansas

Ashley McCollum


"My original talent was going to be archery. I'm singing by default because there's a clause against projectile objects." -Miss Kansas

/ Via

5. She speaks Chinese!

She double-majored in Chinese and chemistry at Kansas State.

6. She's currently earning her private pilot's license.

7. She's an expert marksman on the M16 rifle.

8. She also pulls off camo rather well.

#MissKansas pulling off camo like nobodies business!

king ratchet


#MissKansas pulling off camo like nobodies business!

/ Via

9. In conclusion:

We all know she's the real #MissAmerica #MissKansas

Kansas Cowgirl


We all know she's the real #MissAmerica #MissKansas

/ Via

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.