founder of Pin Ups for Vets.
Miss America 1971. (Also, Miss Texas 1970.)
What do they have in common?
Respect for the troops, for one thing. Gina and her PUFV ladies have visited VA hospitals across the US. In 2011 she made a visit to the Army hospital in Landstuhl, Germany with author Michael Z Williamson… lucky bastard.
Phyillis visited the troops in Vietnam, in September of 1971.
“Though it may sound corny, seeing the guys’ faces light up gives us the needed energy. They are the people who keep us going.”
Being Miss America has been a tremendous learning experience, she said.
“I discovered a lot about myself, about qualities I didn’t know I had, such as self-discipline and humility.”
Two qualities Phyllis shares with Gina. This part sounds familiar too.
“You just don’t pick up your evening gown and go to a pageant,” she said. “It takes a lot of hard work.”
And there’s one more connection. Would you believe… hairspray?
Phyllis didn’t make it on to the can, as Gina did.
but she did appear in the commercial.
NB: The photo of Phyllis signing autographs sourced from a collection of photos taken at a USO show. Full set here.
Click on the can of hairspray to go to the website of Valor’s producer, Beauty & Pin-Ups.