Traverse City’s Blanchard Reports From the Frontlines of Ukraine Crisis

Traverse City’s Lauren Blanchard has made a name for herself as a Fox News national correspondent.

For the past week, she has gone international, reporting right in the thick of the crisis in Europe.

“It’s absolutely heartbreaking,” said Blanchard via Zoom from Poland. “You know, we don’t see anything like this in America.”

It didn’t take long for the Traverse City Central grad to start her career with Fox News. She went on to college at the University of Michigan and after an internship with the network, began reporting soon after.

Now with more than a decade with the network, it didn’t take long to get one of her biggest assignments yet.Blanchard In Poland Pkg 3 9 2200 01 35 11still001

“Once we actually saw the invasion happen, my team, we got the first flight we could,” said Blanchard. “We had 24 hours from being told ‘okay we’re going’ to sitting on the plane headed out of DC.”

Her assignment sent her to the border between Ukraine and Poland with a focus on the refugees.

“One woman I talked to said we considered Russia a brother,” said Blanchard. “And now our brother is shooting us.”

According to the UN, already more than two million have fled their homes.

“Here in Poland, that number is almost 1.3 million, so they are taking a majority of these refugees,” said Blanchard.

Throughout her career, Blanchard’s assignments have taken her across the country reporting on disasters but nothing like this.

“I’ve been there watching communities rally, cities rally, neighborhoods rally, but I’ve never watched countries rally,” she said.

Staying two hours from the border, to leave room for refugees closer to Ukraine, every day the team makes the drive to the line to report on the crisis, hoping to find the good.

“The Polish people, honestly that has been one of the more rewarding sides of the story,” said Blanchard. “Seeing how well they are taking care of people they don’t know. These aren’t even their country people, these are total strangers.”

Blanchard says the Polish are friendly to the media and she is away from the fighting. For now, that’s enough for her mother watching from back home.

“She watches I think every single one of my live shots,” said Blanchard. “ Just because she knows then that I’m okay.”

Blanchard and her crew have been in Poland for a week and right now they’re indefinitely as the refugee crisis continues.