EXCLUSIVE: Miss Veteran America contestant combats veteran homelessness

EXCLUSIVE: Miss Veteran America contestant combats veteran homelessness
Published: Feb. 3, 2016 at 11:21 PM EST|Updated: Feb. 4, 2016 at 11:34 AM EST
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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - A 2016 Miss Veteran America semifinal contestant is a part of the Chattahoochee Community. Sally Rejas is running for the 2016 title and hopes to use the platform to bring awareness to veteran homelessness. 

"I want to help sisters, mothers, daughters to understand that there are other programs out there, that they are not alone. So whether I win or not, I am here to support," says Rejas.

The regional competition will be held in June and the national is in October.

An E-5 Sergeant, honorably discharged and mother of two, Rejas says the hardest part about serving was raising her children on deployment.

"I tried my best to send videos, to call as often as I could but it was difficult."

What's even more difficult for Rejas is seeing her fellow veterans come home to no home, and that is exactly why she decided to run for Miss Veteran America.

The competition benefits a nonprofit organization called "Final Salute" that has already provided housing for more than 300 homeless women veterans and their children in 15 different states.

"We have ladies who are currently deployed running for Miss Veteran America. It's a sisterhood, we all have the same common cause. We are all trying to raise awareness for those to reduce homelessness," said Rejas.

There are currently more than 50,000 homeless veterans according to the Department of Veteran Affairs.

"A lot of us running are being asked why are you just speaking for women, right now the VA doesn't have a lot of programs for women," she says.

Rejas also says that if she can support Final Salute which is created to provide suitable and safe housing for homeless women veterans, then she feels like "she is winning," even if she doesn't get the crown.

To vote for Sally Rejas click here, and for more information about Miss Veteran America click here.

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