May 20, 2015 Special Interview with
Jennifer hosted the Villagers For Veterans - Indy Orchid Gala in The Villages
Journalist Jennifer Griffin says working in the news cycle often means disappointing her kids
May 25, 2018
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Being a working mother in journalism is no cake-walk. Just ask Fox News national security correspondent Jennifer Griffin.
Griffin knows that having an intense job means she has to disappoint her three kids from time to time by missing events, PEOPLE writes. But having a journalist for a mom has made Griffin’s kids into ambitious and independent people at a young age, Griffin said.
Fox journalist on juggling work and familyWith an NPR journalist for a husband and a platoon of budding writers for kids, the national security correspondent is raising a whole family of journalists. Together with husband Greg Myre, Griffin has two daughters in high school and one 9-year old son. The girls are taking after their parents, writing for their high school paper. Luke is a “World War II expert.”
“They were surrounded by journalists. They were surrounded by discussions about current events and foreign affairs and tough issues from the beginning,” Griffin, 49, said.
Tracking high-profile stories means that Griffin and her husband miss out on a lot of time with their kids. But it also left Griffin’s three children to develop a sense of independence, the Harvard graduate said. She told PEOPLE:
They grew up with a lot of independence having parents who had to drop things based on the news cycle. They knew that we were often having to leave them. We’re often unfortunately at times disappointing them by missing events because news gets away.
Griffin covered the Clinton campaign for Fox, an experience she described in 2016 as “very challenging,” especially when it came to making time for her family.
Do you watch Fox News?
One of the things we miss about being overseas is the community of journalists and how would spend a lot of time socializing together in the off hours. We kind of recreate that at our house in D.C. A lot of those journalists have come back home and are based here.
Family of journalistsGriffin’s daughter Annalise, 17, will follow in her parents’ footsteps by enrolling in a summer journalism program at Northwestern University. Amelia, 15, writes for the paper at her high school.
Griffin arranged a meeting between her son Luke, the “World War II expert,” and Defense Secretary James Mattis, who he impressed with his knowledge of the Vietnam war. Why did the U.S. lose? Their M-16 rifles kept jamming. Griffin told PEOPLE:
They went over maps of Afghanistan, as to how the Afghan War was going, and Luke asked the Defense Secretary how many more troops he needed to win in Afghanistan. Then at the end of this 25-minute sort of meeting of minds Mattis said, ‘Luke, do you have any more questions?’ And Luke asked him a very specific question about the M16 [rifle] because in Luke’s words, that’s the reason we lost Vietnam, because the M16 jammed. And at that point Mattis looked at me and said, ‘Who is this kid?’
Griffin’s aspiring journalists will be coming into an industry that has seen major changes in recent years because of digital media. But Griffin, who started out as a freelancer in the Middle East, doesn’t think digital technologies like Twitter have changed journalism all that much. “But I feel like it’s not such a shock to my system,” she said.
Griffin, a journalist at Fox since 1999, does not blame President Donald Trump for the way social media has impacted how people consume news. “Whether President Trump was president or not, we live in the information age,” Griffin says. “It’s exhausting, but it was inevitable that we would get to this point. The question is, how do we get enough sleep and stay healthy?”
Getting sleep and staying healthy is especially important for Griffin, who survived stage-III breast cancer. In her off-time, she enjoys yoga. “I try to go to yoga once a day,” she said. “Either in the morning or evenings. I don’t always get there, but going to hot yoga the best sort of detox from a day of news.”
A profoundly different way of looking the Israeli-Palestinian conflictReporting from Jerusalem for The New York Times and Fox News respectively, Greg Myre and Jennifer Griffin, witnessed a decades-old conflict transformed into a completely new war. The West has learned a lot about asymmetrical war in the past decade. At the same time, many strategists have missed that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has become one of them. This book shows the importance of applying these hard-won lessons to the longest running, most closely watched occupation and uprising in the world.
The entire conflict can seem irrational -- and many commentators see it that way. While raising their own family in Jerusalem at the height of the violence, Myre and Griffin look at the lives of individuals caught up in the struggles to reveal how these actions make perfect sense to the participants. Extremism can become a virtue; moderation a vice. Factions develop within factions. Propaganda becomes an important weapon, and perseverance an essential defense. While the Israelis and the Palestinians have failed to achieve their goals after years of fighting, people on both sides are prepared to make continued sacrifices in the belief that they will eventually emerge triumphant.
Indy Orchid Gala raises $120,000 to aid American veterans
May 21, 2015 By Tony Violanti
Indy Orchid Gala organizer Marie Bogdonoff is flanked by Greg Myre and Jennifer Griffin.
They came bearing wounds and guide dogs, along with honor and faith in service to their country.
The second annual “Indy Orchid Gala” Wednesday in the Savannah Center was a night to showcase heroic sacrifice among sisters and brothers in arms. Every seat was sold for a dinner to honor female veterans and raise money to help all wounded soldiers through the Independence Fund.
The event raised $120,000.
Leslie Nicole Smith is legally blind and lost her left leg as a result of service in Bosnia.
Leslie Nicole Smith with her guide dog.
Despite the devastating losses, Smith gained something more.
“What happened turned into a blessing because I discovered an inner strength I didn’t know I had,” said Smith, a retired Army Captain. She stood with her guide dog, Isaac nearby. “When I came back, I couldn’t wear the uniform or fight the fight. But you can’t look back with regret. I found that helping other injured soldiers was therapy and healing for me.
“It was a new mission and it opened a whole new world for me. Helping other veterans gave me inner peace and joy. That’s why it’s great to be here tonight to honor women vets for their sacrifices and service.”
Smith’s words described the atmosphere that permeated the “Indy Orchid Gala.”
Brian Mast, who lost both legs in Afghanistan, spoke at the Indy Orchid Gala.
You could feel the emotion when Brian Mast, who lost both legs in Afghanistan, said the Pledge of Allegiance and led the audience in singing “God Bless America.”
“This is more than we expected,” said Villager Marie Bogdonoff, who wiped away tears after Mast’s appearance. Bogdonoff has long worked for the Independence Fund and Villagers for Veterans. “I’m so excited and so emotional. It means so much to me and to the wounded veterans to see this kind of support. People in The Villages are so generous.”
You can see a clip of Mast leading the song at the Villages-News.com Facebook page at the link below:
Last year the gala raised just over $12,000 and this year Bogdonoff hoped to top that figure. The goal was to raise money for two Track Chairs, specially designed All-Terrain Vehicles for disabled vets. They cost about $15,000 each.
Jennifer Griffin is a star reporter for Fox News as national security correspondent. She works out of the Pentagon and has personally witnessed the tragic results of modern warfare. She was the guest speaker at the gala and is a driving force behind the Independence Fund, to help severely injured vets find special wheelchairs. Thus far, Griffin has helped the organization donate 1,000 special chairs.
“I’ve spent a lot of time at Walter Reed (National Military Medical Center) and I’ve seen so many wounded veterans, including double, triple and even quadruple amputees,” said Griffin who, with her husband Greg Myre, wrote “This Burning Land,” about the Middle East. Both Griffin and Myre were reporters who covered the region.
“In previous wars, these wounded soldiers wouldn’t have survived,” Griffin said. “But battlefield medicine has improved so much in the last 15 years that these severely wounded soldiers are coming home.”
Helping veterans inspires Griffin. “I feel I can be a positive force and raise awareness about them.”
A few years ago, she faced her own personal challenge with breast cancer. In a very real way, that physical battle helped Griffin understand what some veterans face with their own bodies.
“Helping these veterans is so important to me,” Griffin said. “One of the most profound experiences I’ve ever had is working with wounded veterans.”
She said the goal of the Independence Fund is give severely injured veterans, “the freedom, independence and dignity they deserve.”
Griffin also said that the gala is another sign that, “women veterans are finally getting the recognition they deserve. It has been a long time coming.”
Pastor James Rockey and BriGette McCoy.
BriGette McCoy believes there is still a long way to go. She served in the Army from 1987-91 and suffered a back injury. She also battled psychological issues, including Military Sexual Trauma and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
“Women have come a long way in the military but people need to be more aware of what women are doing,” she said. “For the last 15 years or so, women have been getting combat pay.”
Coming home also can be difficult for a woman veteran.
“Basically, you’re anonymous; nobody knows where you’ve been or what you have done. You have to start all over again and fight for everything you get.”
The public can help women and all veterans by “voting to ensure benefits and care for veterans,” McCoy said. “You have to be involved and know what your political representatives are doing. You can just say ‘thanks for your service’ to a veteran. You have to become active and make sure he or she is taken care of.”
Rev. James H. Rockey, pastor of the Amazing Grace Lutheran Church, believes that is the least we can do for vets.
“We’re here tonight because of people like BriGette who fought to keep us free,” he said. “This is a night to celebrate their lives and share our faith with them.”
Ryan Barlow and Ethan, left; Robert Clingan and Ferguson; Brett Clingan and Elvis.
Outside, in the lobby of the Savannah Center, three veterans in wheelchairs and their dogs, were grouped together.
“Tonight is about giving back to those who have given so much for our country,” said Brett Clingan, with his dog named Elvis at his feet. Clingan was near his brother, Robert, who had a dog named Ferguson. “Life can be very hard sometimes but people here are so much better off for what we did,” Brett said.
Ryan Barlow sat nearby, with his dog, Ethan and smiled, saying, “tonight is a nice way for people to say thank-you.”