Local Pageant Queens Wish Veterans a Happy Holiday - WBOY - Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

Local Pageant Queens Wish Veterans a Happy Holiday

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Some local pageant queens were all on the same stage on Wednesday night, but they weren't competing against each other.

Instead, they came out to Clarksburg to spread some holiday cheer, passing out more than 400 cards to residents of the Louis A. Johnson VA Medical Center and nursing home.

"We went door-to-door in the other guys' rooms, and they actually told us where they came from," said Dakota Swiger of the Pre-Teen Nutter Fort Holiday Festival.

Krystian Leonard, also known as Miss Northern West Virginia's Outstanding Teen, is a Clarksburg resident. Leonard said giving back to those in her hometown makes the experience that much more meaningful.

"Well, I've been out to the VA, and it's always been great. I have great conversations with the men, and I learn their stories, and it's always a lot of fun," said Leonard

Leonard's fellow pageant queens said they also enjoyed getting to know the veterans.

"This one veteran, he told us how he was in Vietnam, and then we found out where they were from, some of them told us why they were here," said Jordan Lowe, Miss Wheelchair West Virginia.

"I made friends. A lot of friends," said Swiger.

For Leonard, the experience is personal. Her organization, Shining S.C.A.R.S., helps people to accept their own physical and emotional reminders of the past...a platform that is especially meaningful for veterans.

"I know that their families are sometimes far away, and it's just a great way to bring some joy to them, and wish them Merry Christmas," said Leonard.

Leonard will continue to spread the Christmas cheer on Friday, December 20, when she will be delivering copies of her book to patients at the West Virginia University Children's Hospital.

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