The award for coolest iconoclast of the week goes to Katrina Hodge, the most recent Miss England, who’s currently training for the possibility of going back to defending Britain in the Middle East. That’s right — back. Hodge served a seven-month tour of duty in Iraq before winning the title of Miss England, and now that she’s done with being a beauty queen, she may well be headed back to Afghanistan.
Hodge says becoming Corporal Katrina after a year of living in luxe hotels and having her hair and makeup professional done every day has been a challenge, but she told the AFP that she’s not afraid of being back in the war zone.
“At the end of the day, it’s my job. If that’s what I’ve got to do, then that’s what I’ve got to do,” she said. “It’s hard to be excited about going to Afghanistan but it’s the reality of our job. Our job is be out there, protecting our country.”
She even admitted that it’s been a challenge getting back into the army routine — partly because it’s a much more physically demanding job than being Miss England, but because of the tepid teasing she once got from her fellow soldiers — she’s already earned the nickname “Combat Barbie.”
“When people met me, they knew I had been Miss England and I think people had an opinion of me,” she said. “Then they realised that I’m just a normal squaddie. It’s nice having a bit of banter at work and it’s nice being back in the Army.”
Hodge, who was married to another soldier in June, was a member of the Royal Anglian Regiment during her tour in Iraq. Her book about the experience, Combat to Catwalk, will be on sale in early April.
Hodge has been assigned to a new regiment and could be deployed to Afghanistan as early as next year.
UK beauty queen set for deployment to Afghanistan [Yahoo! News]