COLORADO SPRINGS — The first active duty service member to represent her state in the Miss America Pageant is on her way and is ready to represent Colorado.

Maura Spence Caroll is Miss Colorado and an active duty soldier at Fort Carson.

She told FOX21 News the leadership at Fort Carson has supported her journey to take on the competition. Although Spc. Maura Spence is nervous, with the help of the mental management team at Fort Carson, she said she is confident for what is to come.

Mental health is her social impact, particularly preventing suicides of our nation’s soldiers and service members.

“You need to make sure that service members and soldiers understand they are valued,” Miss Colorado said. “They are part of a community that loves them, sees the value that they add to their units, their communities, their families, to their friend groups and ensuring that that support continues when they receive health care when they decide to start talking openly about their mental healthy journey.”

This is the 100th year for the pageant. It will air Dec. 16 on Peacock.