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Military spouse wins 2006 Texas pageant

SHEPPARD AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Jennifer Bennett stood on the stage of Montgomery Community College Feb. 12 in her pink evening gown waiting for the judge's final decision. 

It was her chance to literally stand in the spotlight as the winner of the 2006 Texas State American Queen Pageant was announced. After completing three competitions, the judge's made their final decision: Mrs. Jennifer Bennett becaame the new Mrs. Texas.
She'll compete for the national title Aug. 2-6 at the Sandpiper Resort in Port Saint Lucie, Fla. 

"It felt wonderful!" she recently said of her new crown. "Knowing that my husband (Senior Airman Christopher Bennett) and son (Connor) were in the audience made it even more unforgettable." 

"I was so thrilled for her," Airman Bennett, of the 82nd Comptroller Squadron, said. "There isn't a kinder person out there." 

The 22-year-old competed in the interview, evening gown and aerobic wear competitions during the one-day pageant. 

Mrs. Bennett began competing in beauty pageants at the age of 14. She said she recalled going home from school one afternoon and her mother told her of an ad in a local newspaper about a pageant and they "decided to try it." But, she said the televised pageant in Indiana didn't go that well. 

"But, I got better with every one," she said. "Like everything, it takes practice."
After eight years of various competitions and roughly 15 pageantry wins, Mrs. Bennett said this pageant win is the most important for her. 

"It's the most important because it is a 'Mrs.' Title which reflects my family," she said. "Representing the married community is a lot harder than the single community. You have to be well-rounded." 

She said her family is an integral part to her success in the pageant.
Not only does she have to make the commitment to fulfill the requirements of wearing the crown, but her family does, too. 

Going to pageants isn't all Mrs. Bennett has been doing in her past. She joined the Air Force in 2002 and served as a financial manager in customer support in the finance office. She said she was responsible for processing and auditing travel vouchers. 

During her one year reign, she said Mrs. Texas is required to make 12 appearances. 
"I have already made two appearances as judges for two local beauty pageants," said Mrs. Bennett.  She has also made an appearance at the local Taste of the Town fund raiser which benefits the American Red Cross. 

Mrs. Bennett has several platforms she promotes while in the role of Mrs. Texas.  One of her platforms is endometriosis awareness.  

"As a sufferer of endometriosis, I feel that people out there, particularly women, need to become informed about this incurable disease," she said. 

When Mrs. Bennett isn't busy taking care of her family and working as an at-home administrative assistant, she is preparing for the nationals. 

"So much to do in so little time," Mrs. Bennett said. 

If she wins nationals, she said her duties will be the same, but on a much larger scale.
Mrs. Bennett said she doesn't know if or when she will compete in another pageant.
"I'm not looking at other pageants right now," she said. "This one keeps me pretty busy."