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The Journals are the premier publications for high-quality, hyperlocal news and advertising in Monmouth County, New Jersey

Nov 04, 2019

Holmdel Resident, TV Host Talks Veterans Advocacy

A television host by day and a veterans’ advocate by night. Meet Holmdel’s Pete Hegseth.

Originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota, Hegseth moved to Holmdel nearly three years ago with his wife, Jennifer.

“There’s this sense of family, faith, patriotism and sense of community in Minnesota,” he said. “Those values are reinforced here in Holmdel which I love. It’s a great place to live, especially if you work in New York and don’t want to live in the hustle and bustle of the city. I get to come home and enjoy the community feel. We love our church, the police, our neighbors.”

He and his wife now have seven children, three each from previous relationships and one baby girl together. Since moving to the area, Hegseth said he has come to appreciate summers in Monmouth County.

“It’s a great place for them to experience childhood,” he said. “We go in the pool, shoot hoops, just enjoy summers here.”

Pete Hegseth

While he works weekends in New York, he said he often “steals a day to come home” and spend time with his family.

Hegseth is an Army veteran who fought in Afghanistan and Iraq, having earned two Bronze Stars and a Combat Infantryman’s Badge. He was also a guard at Guantanamo Bay. Now, he serves as the co-host of “FOX & Friends Weekend.” He was a guest for years, often representing veterans’ organizations. He then became a guest host for five years, giving a veteran’s analysis and contributing to various segments.

“God has opened doors for and closed doors for me,” he said. “I’m so grateful for all the opportunities I’ve been given, especially as a veteran. There’s not a ton of hosts on cable or network television with that background, so I’m grateful for this platform.”

He is passionate about being the voice for veterans because he knows the struggles of returning home after service.  “When you come back from war, the transition is fast and difficult.” While Hegseth often works with national veterans’ organizations, he especially appreciates the impact local groups have.  “Large organizations do a lot of lobbying in Washington, D.C.,” he said. “Local places treat veterans like individuals. They’re not just part of a statistic. Through this work, veterans can channel a sense of purpose.”  He said he speaks to local veterans’ groups and advocates for their causes on air. “I’m grateful I have that platform. These groups don’t get publicity. It’s not about that for them.”

To get involved with veterans’ charities and organizations, Hegseth encourages people to tap into their interests.

“Follow your passion, and find a way to channel that passion toward veterans,” he said. “There are so many avenues to do that. There are charities, organizations that offer mental support, places that train service dogs, ways to help military families. They need help too. When you’re deployed, you know what you signed up for, but for those at home, they don’t know what the next phone call is.”

This Wednesday, Hegseth will be emceeing The Patriot Awards, a live awards show with proceeds benefitting the Folds of Honor Foundation. This foundation provides educational scholarships to spouses and children of America’s fallen and disabled service members.

“The Patriot Awards highlight unsung heroes,” Hegseth said. “It’s a night to honor this country and tell the stories of those whose names you don’t know yet.”

The show will be live streamed on Fox Nation this Wednesday, Nov. 6 at 7:30 pm.

 

Three things to know about Hegseth:

  1. He earned his undergraduate degree in politics from Princeton University in 2003 then received his master’s in public policy from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government in 2013.
  2. He and his wife’s sons attend sporting camps at Saint John Vianney, where Hegseth said he loves to visit during the summer.
  3. He hosts his own program on FOX Nation, “Ace of Spades: The Hunt for Saddam Hussein,” which features interviews with soldiers, military leaders and intelligence officers.