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When Jerry Parr was eight years old, he knew he wanted to be a Secret Service agent when he grew up. Little did this eight-year-old dreamer know that he would become the agent responsible for saving the life of President Ronald Reagan on March 30, 1981.
Jerry grew up surviving three fathers, and as a result he became his mother’s protector, sleeping with a knife under his pillow and vowing to give his life if necessary in order to save her.
These early influences not only shaped Jerry to become the head agent in Ronald Reagan’s protective detail, but they prepared him for a life of rescuing others. Jerry describes his transition from the vigilant life of a Secret Service agent to one lived in service to others, saying, “It’s a strange twist that having spent my so-called prime years protecting political figures from death, I spend a lot of time now helping people to surrender to it. In spite of all the risks I took and all the near misses, I have lived a long life. God’s love has sustained me and sustains me still. It will carry me through my inevitable rendezvous with death.”
At times heart pounding, at times heart rending, this richly textured memoir of a Secret Service agent will move you first to the edge of your seat, then to the depths of your soul.
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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 ordinary life of an agent. Jerry spent much of his life as a silent eyewitness to history―with a gun at his fingertips. In the Secret Service will lead you along Jerry’s journey that took him from the halls of the powerful to the streets of the poor in Washington, DC, to the mountain passes of war-torn El Salvador. You won’t want to miss this insider’s perspective on the Secret Service and this honest look into the heart of a man’s willingness to sacrifice himself for another.
“Jerry put himself in harm’s way to protect Ronnie, and I am forever grateful.”
Nancy Reagan former first lady of the United States of America
“The Secret Service is the emblem of America at its best. Jerry personifies that trust. His actions changed history when the bullets flew.”
Chris Matthews host of Hardball with Chris Matthews on MSNBC
Jerry and Carolyn Parr have built their life together on faith, family, and service. Jerry served as a special agent in the United States Secret Service for twenty-three years. Carolyn worked for the Justice Department and later as a federal tax judge. Both Jerry and Carolyn are ordained ministers. They have three daughters and four brilliant and beautiful granddaughters.
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 for Presidents Carter and Reagan. After retiring, Jerry earned a master's degree in pastoral counseling from Loyola University.
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