Booktalking: "I Am a Secret Service Agent" by Dan Emmett
November 22, 1963 was a pivotal day in the life of eight-year-old Dan Emmett—the day President John F. Kennedy was tragically assassinated. The horrific event galvanized an irresistible desire in the third grader to protect the office of the President Of The United States (aka POTUS). Dan was struck by the photographic image of United States Secret Service agent, Clint Hill, jumping onto the back of POTUS' vehicle to shield the president and the first lady from gunfire. Like any agent, Hill was willing to give his life for the office of the presidency.
Emmett feels the same dedication to his Secret Service career. One of his first discoveries about Secret Service work is that the job distinctly lacks glamour—after surviving boot camp-like training, his first assignment is investigating check fraud. Landing more exciting assignments is very competitive among agents, but Emmett manages to secure a place within the Presidential Protection Division (PPD), where he has many exciting adventures. The job consumes agents' entire lives, and is very physically and mentally demanding, but Emmett has opportunities to travel to many foreign countries and is privy to innumerable, incredibly intriguing conversations.
Protecting the highest office of the U.S. is risky and dangerous. At any point, gunfire could erupt, and catering to the president's personal desires is often one of the dodgiest aspects of the job. Running with President Clinton through public, unsecured streets in Washington, D.C. during rush hour, day after day, was rife with potential hazards. Only after the plot of a would-be assassin, lying in wait for POTUS while he was abroad, became known, did Clinton discontinue his public runs. For Emmett, being within an arm's length of three different presidents over a 12-year span was very fulfilling and rewarding.
This is a very enlightening nonfiction about the work of the United States Secret Service.