America’s military families face many stresses and challenges -- the financial strains, the uncertainty of deployments, frequent relocations, sometimes overseas, and the sacrifice of loved ones away from home for extended periods of time. But, for Fox News anchor Harris Faulkner, who was born into a military family, her experience is a shining example of the strength and commitment of these families and the extraordinary family bonds that form during service and remain strong long after the mission is done.
Faulkner’s Dad, Ret. Army Lt. Col. Bob Harris, always told his daughter "there are a 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 two tours in Vietnam, to the present day mothering of her children. And life as an anchor for a major news organization often provides her the privilege to get up close with the events that impact the world around us.
Today, Faulkner anchors “Outnumbered,” which ranks as one of the top 10 news shows across cable TV. She recently launched a second show which follows each day, “Outnumbered Overtime,” which is climbing fast in the top 20. “I am having the time of my life,” she says.
“Everything I do is deadline oriented.” My dad is always mission ready, and those were the things that were ingrained in me,” she added.
She’s had a front-row seat in a life lived on deadlines and missions, beginning as a young child. She was born on the U.S Army military base at Ft. McPherson in Atlanta (which was recently decommissioned). Her father finished Flight School at Georgia Tech and deployed to Stuttgart (where she did some schooling), then on to Vietnam where he served two tours as a fixed-wing aviator.
Other missions included family moves to military bases at Ft. Leavenworth, Ft. Bragg, and Ft. Monmouth. Her dad later went on to serve under Joint Chiefs Chairman General 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 lived on bases.
REMEMBERING SUPREME SACRIFICES
Today, with that background, she often marvels at the responsibilities shouldered by the families of the deployed, recalling the story of Taya Kyle her most memorable. Taya is the widow of Chris Kyle, the subject of the Academy Award-winning screenplay “American Sniper.”
“One of the things that Taya Kyle reminds me of when I have spoken with her is ‘supreme sacrifice,’ and it goes deeper than to the person it happens to physically. We are impacted, we are changed forever whenever we lose someone in uniform who is attached to us. The love for America is taken to a whole new level because you realize that you have given up something that no one can ever replace. And when I met Taya, I was reminded of that.”
“I want to make the point that any story that I would want to make about military life has to involve military families,” she says. “We serve as a unit.”
Flash forward to today, where Faulkner’s father continues to inspire the next generation, as a no-nonsense physics and math teacher in Texas who tutors children and speaks to them with inspiring stories of service. A little over a year ago, when Harris’s mother passed away, students past and present came to the funeral to comfort her dad.
“He saluted her as the greatest civilian soldier that he has ever known the day that she passed,” Faulkner said. After burying her in a military cemetery in Arlington, Texas, Bob Harris told his daughter, ”I had 57 years of a mission with your mom, and I still have more in me and have to figure out what that next mission is.”
In an era where her industry is under heavy scrutiny, Harris Faulkner's mission continues to be practicing responsible journalism. She is grateful for the opportunity to meet the challenge, and is ever vigilant in not failing in her obligation to bring fair and accurate news to her viewers.
“I still feel there is a very relevant role for journalists to play, but we got to raise that bar for ourselves, and then go for it,” she says. “I still think we need to put out as many facts as we responsibly can because people are looking for it.“
“And more starved for it than ever before. The world is a dangerous place at times, and it has dangerous people in it.”
Faulkner joined Fox News in 2005 as a correspondent and prime-time news break anchor. Earlier, she had served as a 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 was the recipient of the Amelia Earhart Pioneering Lifetime Achievement Award for her humanitarian efforts. She is a graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara with a degree in Mass Communications.