Savannah Raskey has many titles: Air Force veteran, opera singer, ballroom dancer and now Ms. Veteran America competitor. She has never shied away from taking chances on herself, trying new things and looking for ways to serve her fellow veteran women. As a competitor in the Ms. Veteran America competition, Raskey is helping to raise awareness of homeless veteran women, who are the largest population of homeless
people in the nation.
“No one deserves to be homeless, especially women who put their life on the line for our country,” Raskey said. “I love veterans. I’ve always searched for ways to reach out to the veterans. … I also feel like our generation is lacking in respect to the veterans [because] we are losing touch to what our soldiers do for us. I want to bridge the gap between millennials and the veterans.”
The Ms. America Veteran competition puts a great emphasis on diversity and inner beauty. Women veterans of all shapes, sizes, ages and backgrounds are encouraged to apply. During the competition, the women must showcase a talent and answer questions about women and military history. The competition also switched out the iconic swimsuit portion for a pushup contest. The Ms. America Veteran competition focuses on raising awareness for homeless women veterans in the nation and finding a veteran who will fulfill that role well.
“I think Savannah would be an excellent Ms. Veteran America. She would be dedicated to her cause to raise awareness for homeless women veterans and would be a great representative for all women veterans everywhere,” ballroom dance adjunct professor Kristen Hawkins said. “Savannah is beautiful inside and out; she has a love for this earth and is proud to be an American. She has empathy for those with which she serves, and those she serves.”
Joining the military wasn’t always something that Raskey wanted to do. But after much convincing from her father, she decided to join the Air Force after attending one year of school at BYU-Idaho.
“My dad forced me to join the Air Force. … I didn’t want to do it and I was really scared [at first]. … But I absolutely loved it. … It wasn’t so much about the money for me because it gave me a sense of patriotism. I love my country and I love serving,” she said.
Savannah’s father Bob Raskey, a United pilot and retired Lt. Col F-16 fighter pilot, is proud of his daughter and all of her accomplishments in the military and in the school. He believes that his daughter’s experiences in life make her a great candidate for Ms. Veteran America.
“From climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro at 12 years old, to soloing an airplane, serving her country honorably as an USAF Airman, supporting the opening of several United 4 Veterans’ chapters in the USA, capturing the wonders of our planet through her keen photographic lens like The Masai of Kenya, the people of Peru and Machu Piccu,” Bob said. “Savannah has immersed herself in the world at many levels. To that point; she takes what she learns from her travels around the world; and pays it forward to all those she meets along the away.”
Savannah will be competing in Washington D.C. during the final rounds of the Ms. Veteran America competition Oct. 6.