Earning her sash
Chaplain (Maj.) Lisa Northway, U.S. Army Garrison - Fort Hood, smiles as her finalist sash is pinned on for the 2022 Ms. Veteran America competition in Orlando, Florida, Oct. 30. "I realized, in that moment," she said, "I'm not always going to be a chaplain, but I'll always be a woman and a veteran." (Photo Credit: Photo courtesy Ms. Veteran America ) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT HOOD, Texas - Chaplain (Maj.) Lisa Northway, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, U.S. Army Garrison, competed in the 2022 Ms. Veteran America competition in Orlando, Florida, Oct. 30.

The competition encourages women veterans to lift each other up and find their tribe, as well as raise funds for Final Salute Incorporated, which is the leader in assisting those in the fastest growing homeless population: female veterans and their families.

“It’s hard to conceive that we, those of us who have served and who are serving, are the fastest growing homeless population in America,” Northway said.

Northway competed in the semifinals in Orlando in June, where the contestants were given five minutes to answer pointed questions by the judges. They also had to put their lip-syncing skills to the test for the talent portion.

“It is actually hard to remember to move your lips,” Northway said laughing.

Northway is the first chaplain to compete in Ms. Veteran America and she was excited to compete alongside a religious affairs specialist.

“For me, the true beauty was actually having the other part of the religious support team (compete alongside me),” Northway said. “That bond, that sense of camaraderie not only in the sisters-in-arms experience of the Ms. Veteran America competition, but someone who identifies (with me) that strong spirit was a beautiful thing to be a part of.”

She was proud to represent the Army Chaplain Corps and Fort Hood in the competition.

Smiling finalist
Chaplain (Maj.) Lisa Northway, U.S. Army Garrison - Fort Hood, smiles during Ladies Night at the 2022 Ms. Veteran America competition in Orlando, Florida. (Photo Credit: Photo courtesy Ms. Veteran America) VIEW ORIGINAL

“Since I’ve been here, a lot of hard things (have happened), but a lot of good things have happened in spite of the hardship that we’ve all experienced. We’ve all experienced grief and loss. We’re also experiencing redemption and being able to emerge from that, the fire from that, is a beautiful thing.” Northway said. “We’re going to faithfully engage to get after solutions for healing and wholeness. That is my mission as part of the chaplain corps.”

After the semifinals she had a renewed sense of identity which she feels is one of the best things she gained from Ms. Veteran America.

“I felt like I got my woman veteran identity back. I’ve always had this identity that we foster and cultivate in the Chaplain Corps - for God and country,” she said. “But I realized, in that moment, I’m not always going to be a chaplain, but I’ll always be a woman and a veteran.”

Northway will soon be moving to a new assignment at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, where she will serve as the garrison chaplain, but she is excited for one more event before she leaves the Great Place.

“I am so excited to be able to co-host the third Band of Sisters event,” she said. “It’s open to all service members, but it’s especially in support of our women who are serving (and) who have ever served in any branch of the military.”

The Fort Hood Band of Sisters event will take place on Nov. 17-18. There will be multiple guest speakers, including the author of “Band of Sisters,” Kirsten Holmstedt.

For more information visit https://www.facebook.com/FortHoodChaplain.