American Legion National Commander David K. Rehbein presents an award to Katie Stam, Miss America 2009, for her support of troops and veterans. (Photo by James V. Carroll)

Miss America 2009 praises troops, Legion

Katie Stam, Miss America 2009, stopped by The American Legion National Headquarters in Indianapolis recently to talk about her visit to U.S. troops in Germany. She also spent time with wounded warriors at the Walter Reed and Bethesda medical centers in Washington. The 22-year-old from Seymour, Ind., has family and friends who served in the military. But Stam “never truly got it” until she actually spent time with wounded soldiers. Stam has met many servicemembers, veterans and their families during her tenure as Miss America. “It’s all about honoring our servicemen and women. It’s all about celebrating them and their stories – and who they are, and what they have done for our country,” she said. Stam also applauded The American Legion’s work with troops and veterans, and its community-service programs. The Legion “is definitely going to be an organization that I continue working with,” she said. A former TV news anchor for the University of Indianapolis, Stam says she believes national media could do a better job covering the military. “I wish the media could connect and really tell the stories of the soldiers, so that more people could experience what I feel so tremendously blessed to have experienced,” Stam said.