Tuesday, January 7, 2014

In The Secret Service - The True Story of the Man Who Saved President Reagan's Life by Carolyn Parr and Jerry Parr

Tyndale House Publishers
ISBN13: 9781414378718
About the book:  Meet Jerry Parr. In 1981, he was the agent standing next to Ronald Reagan when John Hinckley, Jr., stepped out of the crowd, intent on killing the president. "In the Secret Service" is an adrenaline-filled ride through the life of the agent who saved Ronald Reagan's life. Jerry spent much of his life as a silent eyewitness to history, with a gun at his fingertips. What motivates a man who is ready at a moment's notice to step into the path of a bullet? In "In the Secret Service, " you'll also follow Jerry's inner journey. That journey led him from the halls of the powerful to the streets of the poor in Washington, D.C., to the mountain passes of war-torn El Salvador to help orphans.You won't want to miss this insider's perspective on the Secret Service and a look into the heart of a man who was--and is--ready to sacrifice himself for another. At times heart-pounding, at times heartrending, this richly textured memoir of a Secret Service Agent will first move you to the edge of your seat, then to the depths of your soul.

Review:  One of Jerry Parr's favorite things to do was go to the Tower Theater with his dad. One night they went to see a movie about the Secret Service starring Ronald Reagan. Jerry decided at that moment he would love to be in the secret service.

In 1962 Jerry was about to graduate college with a BA in English and a minor in Philosophy. He was also about to have a child with his wife Carolyn. He was looking for interviews and saw under the corporations "Central Intelligence Agency" and "Secret Service." During his interview he learned that new agents didn't get in the white house to protect the president. They had to work their way up. Jerry was offered a job with the CIA as an industrial analyst and the Secret Service wanted him as a special agent.

The first president that Jerry protected was Jack Kennedy. Jerry was not on duty to protect President Kennedy when he was shot, but he remembers hearing it for the first time while watching television with his wife. He was called to help investigate the case of the shooter. His work on the case helped him move up and earn trust in the agency. He was now protecting President Johnson. Jerry became consumed with keeping the President safe. He was not going to let a President get shot on his watch. 

Jerry became one of the best agents and would find himself forming a relationship with each president and their family. By the time he was protecting Reagan, everything was instinct. He was looking at everything and every person as a possible threat. The day that president Raegan was shot was very personal. Jerry and his men had made sure every thing was done in order. Jerry was so focused on his surroundings that he was able to react quickly when he heard the first shots. He forced himself onto President Reagan and pushed him into the car. Jerry was relieved when he checked the president and saw no signs of a bullet wound. Jerry let the others know that the President was okay and that they all should head to the White House. Not long after making the call Jerry noticed that the presidents color was bad. He then made the decision to radio in that they would head to the hospital. He got the president to the hospital just in time. The surgeons found a slit that was from a bullet that was flattened like a dime. Thankfully they were able to get the bullet out. While Reagan was in the hospital he was known as a wonderful patient and the staff hated to see him go.

At age 56 Jerry graduated with a degree in Pastoral Counseling. He and his wife Carolyn decided that they would spend their time helping those in need. They loved pouring their time and heart out to people in shelters. After being in the agency protecting the presidents,, Jerry wanted to spend the rest of his life leading and helping others find protection in God. (reviewed by S.Wall)

Jerry & Carolyn Parr
About the authors:  Jerry Parr served as a Special Agent in the United States Secret Service from 1962-1985. During his tenure he protected four Vice Presidents and was Special Agent in Charge (Head of White House Detail) for Presidents Carter and Reagan. After retiring from the Secret Service, Mr. Parr earned a Master’s degree in Pastoral Counseling from Loyola University. He was ordained as a minister by the Church of the Saviour in Washington, DC in 1989. Mr. Parr remains involved in a number of professional organizations and community service activities including the Association of Former Agents of the U.S. Secret Service (Past President) and the American Association of Pastoral Counselors. Mr. Parr is a former co-pastor and current Retreat Leader and Spiritual Director for Festival Church in Washington, DC.
DISCLOSURE:  A complimentary an Advanced Reader Copy of In the Secret Service was given by Tyndale Blog Network  in exchange for an honest review. Opinions expressed are solely those of the reviewer. No compensation was received for this review.

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