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America Supports You: Miss America Tours Pentagon, Thanks Troops

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 23, 2006 – Reigning Miss America Jennifer Berry had nothing but good to say about servicemembers she met in a tour of the Pentagon today.

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Miss America 2006 Jennifer Berry poses in front of the Pentagon with her famous crown March 23. Berry toured the Pentagon to meet with service members. Photo by Gerry J. Gilmore

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"It was absolutely wonderful and such an honor for me," the 22-year-old Tulsa, Okla., native said.

Berry visited with soldiers after a briefing on Army operations and later met with sailors working down the hallway. She also viewed a display of quilts made by Americans across the country in remembrance of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attack on the Pentagon.

Berry's visit was coordinated between the Army and the United Service Organizations of Metropolitan Washington. USO volunteer Annette Conway, wife of Marine Lt. Gen. James Conway, director of operations for the Joint Staff, was on hand to help out on the tour.

Mrs. Conway and Berry yesterday visited with wounded servicemembers at the National Naval Medical Center, in Bethesda, Md., and at Walter Reed Army Medical Center here. "We had a wonderful, wonderful visit," Conway said. Berry greatly buoyed the spirits of the servicemembers at Bethesda and Walter Reed and "really impressed me tremendously," she said.

Today at the Pentagon, Army Staff Sgt. Ricky Kannamore was one of many servicemembers who had their photo taken with Berry. Kannamore said he's grateful that celebrities like Miss America take the time to visit servicemembers. "It's just a happy thing to see that they appreciate what we do, being soldiers," Kannamore said. "We like that."

At the conclusion of her Pentagon tour, Berry said the pleasure was all hers. "Everyone was thanking me for coming to visit, but I can't thank them enough to allowing me to come give them the gratitude that I can for their hard work," she said.

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Click photo for screen-resolution imageArmy Staff Sgt. Ricky Kannamore talks with Miss America 2006 Jennifer Berry near the Army Operations Center in the Pentagon March 23. Berry toured the Pentagon to meet with service members. Photo by Gerry J. Gilmore  
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