Ala. (April 9, 2014) -- When Staff Sgt. Allaina Guitron (photo ledt) volunteered
for recruiting duty, little did she know how her title of "Ms.
Veteran America" would be a perfect fit to showcase her Army story.
When a close friend approached the Montgomery Recruiting
Battalion non-commissioned officer about the competition, she
thought it was a typical pageant. Then she found out the charitable
beneficiary of the Ms. Veteran America competition is Final Salute
Inc., an organization that provides homeless women veterans safe and
"The real question became, 'How could I
not compete?'" said Guitron. "I am already part of the Army and I am
already a Soldier. To accomplish something beyond being a Soldier is
more than I could ask for."
For this 13-year veteran, the
platform was personal. Guitron's mother dealt with homelessness most
of her life, and Guitron grew up in foster homes. In 2000, her life
changed when she enlisted in the Army.
"I knew the Army would
be challenging and would provide opportunities for me to better
myself," she said.
Guitron entered the competition when she
was in the 55th Signal Company, at Fort Meade, Md. Her year-long
stint as "Ms. Veteran America" started when she arrived to
recruiting duty in Crestview, Fla., in October 2013.
an easy decision to let Guitron compete," said Maj. Kyle Yates, then
55th Signal Company commander. "After learning about the Ms. Veteran
American organization and its mission, I was extremely proud of her
desire to represent our service beyond the uniform."
said Guitron lives the Army Values in her military and personal
"She successfully led and took care of Soldiers as a
non-commissioned officer in the Army's most deployed Signal Company,
supported her Soldier-husband during his deployment, transitioned to
Recruiting Command and provided for her extended family," he said.
The extended family that Yates referred to was Guitron's
brother, Christian, who she was sole provider for, from 2005 until
she reported to recruiting duty.
When invited to speak as
"Ms. Veteran America," Guitron includes her personal biography about
her job as a recruiter. She also mentors a few teens and young
"I try to be the voice of reason for them, even though
sometimes it is hard for them to hear, but they know I have their
best interest in mind," said Guitron. "It is important that female
Soldiers see a strong, positive, resilient and selfless leader they
can emulate. Therefore, I choose to lead by example in everything I
Crestview Center Commander Sgt. 1st Class John Carroll
said Guitron is one of the most dedicated Soldiers with whom he has
"I have witnessed a Soldier who gives everything to
being a Soldier," he said. "She strives to be the best at everything
she does. She embodies the Army Values and is a sterling example
both personally and professionally of what is expected of a Soldier
in the U.S. Army."
In Guitron's community, she is involved
with Fisher House at Eglin Air Force Base. Because of her personal
story, she also speaks with local mayors, veteran's organizations
and Chambers of Commerce to bring light to the homeless women
Guitron takes to heart the Army Values and
applies them to every aspect of her life.
"In her role as
'Ms. Veteran America,' Guitron brings the same passion and desire to
help others," said Carroll. "She shows that with hard work and
dedication there is nothing they cannot achieve."
perfect fit is the reason she volunteered for recruiting.
wanted to share my life experiences with people," she said.
Article by Army Cathy Pauley and photo by Ken Rochon
Army News Service
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