LAS VEGAS – She wasn’t wearing the words “North Carolina” on her sash, but the newly crowned Miss USA has ties to our state.
Deshauna Barber, the 26-year-old Army officer from the District of Columbia, spent part of her childhood in North Carolina, thanks to her father’s career in the Armed Forces.
Barber gave perhaps the strongest answer of the night when asked about women in combat.
“As a woman in the United States Army, I think … we are just as tough as men. As a commander of my unit, I’m powerful, I am dedicated,” Barber said. “Gender does not limit us in the United States.”
Her platform is focused on PTSD care for soldiers and veterans.
“My best friend is currently deployed in Afghanistan right now,” Barber said shortly after winning, “I want to make sure that when she comes back she has the resources that she needs to heal any internal mental scars that she has from combat and things that have affected her overseas.”
As the winner of Sunday’s 2016 Miss USA competition held at the T-Mobile Arena off the Las Vegas Strip, Barber will go on to compete in the Miss Universe contest.
Coming in second was Miss Hawaii.