Deshauna Barber - Miss USA on Fighting for Veterans' Rights

June 16, 2016 - Deshauna Barber 06/16/2016 Views: 8,177

Army Lieutenant and Miss USA titleholder Deshauna Barber talks about using her national platform to raise awareness for military veterans who are battling PTSD. (4:39)

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Please welcome Deshauna Barber!

(cheering and applause)

Hi. How are you?

-Hello. Thank you.-Wow!

-Hi, everybody.-(applause and cheering)

Wow! (laughs)

Welcome to the showand congratulations...

-The Daily Show. -...Miss USA.

-Thank you!-What an amazing title!

-Look at the sash!-Yeah, isn't it pretty?

-It's got diamonds, you know.-(cheering) -It is. Yeah.

-(applause and cheering)-It is amazing!

Can I ask you a question?

When you were standingon that stage,

was there a momentwhere you win,

and then you go,"Is this real?"

I'm still tryingto register it now.

It still seems so surreal.

Are you still waitingfor Steve Harvey to come out?

I'm waiting... I'm waitingfor him to say,

"You know what?I made a mistake. It's Hawaii."

-(laughter)-Well, they didn't make a...

-Waiting on it.-They didn't make a mistake.

-Congratulations.-Thank you!

A really prestigious title--Miss USA.

Uh, you obviously dreamtabout this as a child

because you were in a lotof beauty pageants growing up.

In fact, you were winningmany beauty pageants growing up.

-How do you getinto that as a kid? -Um...

How do you just go like,"Yeah, I'm hot."?

-(laughter) -You know, it'sactually quite the opposite.

I lost a lot.

I started competingwhen I was 19,

and I lost every single oneuntil last year.

-(laughter) -You lostevery single competition?

Every single one in the USA...

in the Miss Universe system,yes, I lost every single one.

-So this is basically a Rocky story, then. -Yeah, you know!

-I came up the steps and...-This is. Yeah, you went down.

-(applause, cheering) -You know?-And then you just came up.

I came up, you know?

I was Miss D.C. now,which is great, Miss USA now.

Like, I came up the steps,stopped at D.C.,

and started USA.

I'm trying to end at Universe,so, I'm getting there.

That's a really toughcompetition-- Miss Universe.

Is it true, like,do you have to look out

for the backstabbingin the competition?

I've heard, like, peopleputting, like sticky things

under your shoesso if you walk, you might fall.

-Is it...?-Yeah, and you hear of the...

-the Nair in the shampoo and thebleach on the dress. -Yes.

But none of that happened,surprisingly.

-To you.-Surprisingly.

-(laughter) -I don't knowif it's surprising.

I don't know if it's surprising,

because you were alsothe first Miss USA

who is actively servingin the military.

-Yeah, maybe they were scaredof me. -So...

(cheers and applause)

I think they... I thinkthey were a little bit scared.

I think they were a little... more than a little bit scared.

Like, "I don't know.

"She may have somethinghidden up her sleeve.

Let's not mess with her.She's a soldier."

-That's very possible.-And you are a soldier, though.

-I am.-Like, it's not...

You talk about howyou had to go through training,

-you had to fight men...-Mm-hmm. combat training,for instance,

some of the biggest guys.

What are you thinkingwhen that is happening?

Well, I think they try to testyou because you're smaller.

So they say,"Hey, Barber, you know,

take the 200-pound guyand see how it goes."

And, you know, a lotof the techniques

that they teach you--it actually does work.

So I had him in a choke holdfor a while.

You know, I felt pretty powerfulafter that, so it works out.

(applause and cheering)

I just love that idea

is that you are just chokinga 200-pound man.


It's like with the sash,choking the man.

-(laughter)-Choking the man.

You have a platform now, though.

-I do. -And a platformyou are very actively using.

You are speaking out.

I mean, it's a beautifulopportunity for you

because you're in the military,and you are being very vocal

and usingyour Miss USA platform

to speak about veterans,

-speaking about mental health,PTSD. -Absolutely.

Can you tell usa bit about that?

Well, yes. I'm so excitedto be Miss USA,

and to not only representas a soldier

in the United StatesArmy Reserves,

but also to talk aboutPTSD care for our soldiers,

making sure that they havethe resources that they need

when they returnfrom deployments.

I actually havea best friend right now

that's deployed to Afghanistan,

and I want her to have allthe resources that she needs

when she returns,because in the military,

you're taught to be tough.

You're taught to be ableto deal with things,

but that can bea little bit difficult

when you're battlingthose internal battles,

and you're havingto deal with the things

-that you dealt with in combat.-Yeah.

And it's pretty...

pretty big in terms of howit's impacting our country.

22 veterans commit suicideeach day,

and I hope that one daythat number goes to zero.

-Well, with your help,it probably will. -Thank you.

-Thank you so much for beinghere. -Thank you so much.

Thank you so much.And congratulations once again.

Deshauna Barber, Miss USA!We'll be right back!

(applause and cheering)