SONOMA COUNTY (KPIX 5) — At the Sonoma County Fair, the woman with the princess wave, also happens to have raised a 3rd place pig for the fair. She also played football; the only girl on her high school team.

“I think a lot of people think I’m a little crazy. And may that be the case, it’s who I am,” said 17-year-old Athena Brattin Cain.

Athena is the reigning Miss Sonoma County, but her tenure will be cut short. That’s because in just a few days, she will be report for duty to the United States Marine Corps boot camp in South Carolina.

She signed the paperwork to become a Marine just a couple of months before winning the beauty crown in March.

“I definitely think I’m breaking a pageant stereotype. A lot of people think they’re just pretty little models, or they sing. Or they want to be designers. And that’s not the case for me,” Athena told KPIX 5. “I wanted to prove that I could walk around with a crown on my head and be a normal person, be a patriot, and be in the military.”

Athena said she loves a good challenge, so the military, the sports, none of that was a surprise to anyone who knows her. What shocked her family is that she even participated in a pageant in the first place.

“It was the pageant that surprised them. Football and Marines was just kind of expected of me,” she said.

Athena ships off this weekend. While women in the Marines are not allowed in frontline infantry battalions, she realizes that could change and that any assignment during war is dangerous. But the 17-year-old said she is up to the challenge.

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