Much has been written and discussed across America about the life of military families; the travel, the uncertainty, the sacrifice. But for Fox News anchor Harris Faulkner it is also a shining example of the special bonds that form between these families, and how it can grow even stronger after the battles have been fought.
Faulkner’s Dad, Ret. Lt. Col. Bob Harris, always told his daughter "there are few things worth dying for...you, your mom and our country", she recalled in an exclusive interview with Veterans Advantage. "He’s the first miracle I ever saw in my life."
Life, for Faulkner, has continued to progress as a series of miracles, from the way her father survived three tours in Vietnam, to the present day mothering of her own child, a two-year-old daughter. And life as an anchor for a major news organization often provides her the privilege to get up close with those miracles.
"It’s the multitude of miracles that I get to see" she said, as she read Veterans Advantage’s own HeroVet profile of Pilot Chelsey B. "Sully" Sullenberger, who saved 150 passengers and five crew members when he successfully landed his US Airways flight 1549 under emergency conditions in New York City’s Hudson River in January of 2009. She and her husband live near the site of the US Airways landing.
"‘I knew he was a Vet,’" Faulkner’s dad told her immediately after the crash.
"I said ‘Dad, how did you know?’ And he said ‘Because he stayed calm and knew what he needed to do."
And Faulkner immediately understood, too. She lived on or near a series of military locations, most notably as a young child in Stuttgart, Germany while dad served in Vietnam as a fixed-wing aviator. Dad later went on to serve under Gen. and Joint Chiefs Chairman Colin Powell at the Pentagon.
"My mom said you always have a family on a military base, because you always have something in common automatically when you meet those other children and those other wives and dads," reflected Faulkner about her time on bases.
Flash forward to today, where Faulkner’s father continues to inspire the next generation, as a no-nonsense physics and math teacher in Texas. "You don’t mess with Texas, but you better not mess with Col. Bob," she chuckles. And she remains ever mindful of ways the civilian population can do its part to thank the Col. Bobs of the world.
"As a dependent, I never thought anything was necessary, other than say ‘thank you for your service.’...Try to better understand the sacrifice. Not just those who are serving are making, but their families."
"Hold the door, give eye contact. It is an honor to serve. It is an honor to have someone fight for you too. And also a blessing."
Dad's Recovery, 2011
In February 2011, Faulkner recounts in an update letter for Veterans Advantage members, a health scare for her dad:
"The Colonel, as those who know him call him, fell suddenly ill while we were on a family vacation in Arizona in July 2010. My father remained in a comatose state for 66 days in ICU at a Tucson hospital before finally opening his eyes and saying, “Are the Dallas Cowboys in the hunt?!” He and my mother, were several hundred miles away from their home in Dallas, Texas, as we waited for the Colonel to heal enough to survive the journey home.
After more than 80 days in the hospital, my parents finally returned home to Texas in late Fall. On the flight home, my dad began to take stock of all the love and prayers he’d received from afar from Military families, members and retirees who expressed their support on my Fox News Channel Facebook page, www.facebook.com/harrisfaulkner. Many of those loving words were posted by the readers of Veterans Advantage and on behalf of my parents I’d like to say, “Thank you.” Seems like those two words just could never be enough. The Colonel is a remarkable fighter.
We now know, he faced a gastro illness with just a 5% chance of survival. He’s always been a leader who could beat the odds, a quality he says took shape when he was just a young officer in the Army.
Harris Faulkner is currently a breaking news anchor for FOX News Channel (FNC), appearing on both "Happening Now," from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. ET and "The Live Desk" from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. ET. She also hosts "The Morning Click" on FOXNews.com's "Strategy Room." Faulkner joined FNC in 2005 as a correspondent and prime-time news break anchor. Prior to joining FNC, she served as correspondent for "A Current Affair." In 2005, Faulkner served as a substitute host for "The Nancy Grace Show" on CNN Headline News. Faulkner has received six Emmy Awards including the 2004 Emmy for Best Newscaster and Best News Special. In 1998 she received the Amelia Earhart Pioneering Lifetime Achievement Award for her humanitarian efforts.
As a graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara with a degree in Mass Communications, Faulkner spends her free time as a motivational speaker, author (Breaking News: God Has a Plan) and working for various charitable and church-related causes. Among these are Airline Ambassadors, a United Nations-affiliated foundation whose mission is to provide humanitarian assistance to children and families in need as well as international relief and development to under-privileged communities worldwide through donated frequent flier miles.
Looking back, Faulkner credits her dad as her #1 inspiration, teaching her to always finish what she starts, and to always think of others. It’s grounded in a lifetime of experiences based on a passion of serving our country.
"My father always said he made his dreams come true. Serving."
Image Credit: http://insider.foxnews.com/people/harris-faulkner