The Kennedy Detail
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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

With Respect

Dear Mr. Blaine,

I just finished reading “The Kennedy Detail”, and just so you know, I have never sent a letter like this before.

I became aware of your book after you and Mr. Hill appeared on the FOX 5 San Diego morning show. My daughter, Anna Belle, a writer on the show, had the honor of speaking with you both. If I may jog your memory a bit, in the course of conversation, she relayed that her grandpa was also named Gerald but with a hard “G”. You both signed a copy of the book for her. She called me on her way home in tears and began telling me about your conversation and the pride, sorrow, loss and love of Country she felt and how grateful she was in her heart to have been in the presence of true heroes and learn of their commitments and sacrifices.

I finished the book yesterday and found myself wiping away the tears for the same reasons my 26 year old daughter did. I was 3 1/2 years old on that fateful day and remember, as do most American’s, and the world, exactly where I was.

I want to thank you for finally dispelling all the myths and theories about the assassination, but mostly for giving young people a chance to feel what it means to completely commit yourself to a job, a lifestyle, a career, for the greater good and ask nothing in return. I think our young people today need to know that and I believe your book is a great start. The rest of us “old folk” surely will benefit too!!!!!

Thank you again for the kindness you showed my daughter. She will never forget you. Her Grandpa G.G. (Gerald Guy) is now in possession of the copy you signed for her and, to say the least, he is a proud Grandpa!

With greatest respect.

Betsy Guy Baumbaugh

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Essence of Life Chronicles Reviews The Kennedy Detail

by Luanne Stevenson

The Kennedy Detail: JFK’s Secret Service Agents Break Their Silence was written by Gerald Blaine, one of 34 Secret Service Agents who protected John Fitzgerald Kennedy and who also served as an agent protecting two other Presidents on the White House Detail. It was written along with Lisa McCubbin, an award-winning journalist who has worked for three major television news networks, and the story includes contributions from most of the Secret Service agents who were on the Kennedy Detail.

Recently published by Gallery Books (November 2, 2010), it’s an authoritative account that shares historical facts and personal recollections. The story is told in third person, taking into account personal recollections shared by other Kennedy Secret Service agents who contributed to the book. It details events of November 22, 1963, and the aftermath, but also shares the human side of being a Secret Service agent: how they were traumatized by the events of that day and the sacrifices their wives made by raising children alone as their husbands traveled with the President.Blaine and McCubbin also disclose a variety of behind-the scenes-stories related to the assassination as well as the authors’ conclusion that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. It shares information on what the job was like in the 1960s: carrying index cards in their pockets of suspected threats or individuals, running 8 or more miles alongside the presidential limo wearing black polished shoes that left their feet blistered, long hours that included no breaks for eating and very little sleep, and the amount of planning and work that went into advances (trips to secure areas before the presidential visit).

It also illustrated the times. Life in the 1960s was racially charged (a black Secret Service agent was almost denied a room in a Texas hotel due to racial prejudice), and the Bay of Pigs was fresh in the minds of many Cubans.

The Kennedy Detail takes the reader on a ride that is fast paced, intelligent, emotional, moving, humorous, sad, and historically factual. For example,I smiled when I learned how JFK got short sleeved shirts for all his agents to wear while protecting him in Florida. I enjoyed JFK's humor and personable demeanor. According to Blaine, JFK loved to tease and even told one new agent, “I heard you didn’t vote for me.” Watching the agent's facial expression change from a smile to "horror," Kennedy just smiled, patted his shoulder, and walked away. I was also charmed by stories about the “Kiddie detail,” remembering how John Jr., almost three years old, loved watching helicopters land in his back yard.

Genuine photographs (taken of the Secret Service agents, their families, their work, trips, the President and his family, the motorcades) were shared in various sections of the book. This allowed the reader to go back in time and remember or learn what it was like during Kennedy's presidency. Kennedy quotes were shared at the beginning of each chapter and were subtly missed as the book switched gears and described the Johnson years, following Camelot. The quotes illustrated Kennedy's sharp mind and vision. My personal favorite was located at the beginning of chapter 14: "For time and the world do not stand still. Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or the present are certain to miss the future."

Blaine and McCubbin's sharp ability to re-tell events made me feel like I was a “fly on the wall,” watching the men who protected the President. I was able to visualize what it was like waiting outside Kennedy’s hospital room as the doctors frantically tried to save the President’s life. I felt the sadness Jacqueline Kennedy must have felt after losing her infant son Patrick and later her husband. I felt the trauma that scarred many agents over the past 50 years and understood that through the writing of this book many of them began to heal.

It's is a remarkable story about a remarkable group of men protecting one remarkable man and his family. I highly recommend the book. The Kennedy Detail is a wonderful read and makes the perfect gift for anyone who loves history and is interested in learning details about the “six seconds in Dallas” that took place on November 22, 1963.

originally published on

Print/online journalist, freelance writer and VP of Editing for DocUmeant Publishing Company, published ghost writer. Formerly wrote for the Boston Examiner as a “special-kids-and –special-education” contributor.

In Lu's spare time, she writes for, a blog on life topics, parenting and personal improvement.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Thank You

Special Agent Blaine,

Thank you for writing your book and setting the record straight. I
was only four years old at the time of the assassination and about
all I remember is that everyone was sad and Bugs Bunny was not on on
Saturday morning. Since then I have become an eighth grade history
teacher. Every November near the date of the assassination I tell the
story through pictures and news video clips. Thanks to your book I
can now include some background information and can without a doubt
refute the conspiracy theories that are mentioned every year.

Thank you as well for the work that you and your fellow agents did
and still do to provide protection for our President. I can not
imagine the pain and agony that you all must have suffered. Thank you
and your families for being willing to do that.

Again, thank you for the book. I found it difficult to put down once
I started reading. It will give a new perspective for me when I visit
the Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum later this spring.

Warren Kidder

Monday, June 20, 2011

CNN's Brian Todd's Video Report - Arlington, VA

FBI, Secret Service duke it out on the ice

By Simon Hernandez-Arthur, CNN

The FBI and the Secret Service have held annual hockey games for more than 10 years.
The FBI and the Secret Service have held annual hockey games for more than 10 years.

  • FBI, Secret Service face off in annual hockey game
  • Secret Service wins in overtime
  • Organizers say all 2,500 tickets were sold

Washington (CNN) -- It might be one of the most intense rivalries in sports.

It's not the Yankees and the Red Sox, or the Cowboys and the Redskins, but the FBI and the Secret Service.

Their hockey teams clashed on the ice Saturday night in their annual match.

The two teams, made up of agents from the different organizations, have been playing against each other for more than 10 years. They raise money for different charitable causes for either FBI or Secret Service agents.

This year, organizers asked for a $5 donation from attendants, with the money raised going to Keith Rile, a Secret Service agent diagnosed with cancer.

"The FBI is a family; the Secret Service is a family. We work together every day of the year, and one day we come together to have this friendly rivalry," FBI director Robert Mueller told CNN. "We're all here to support him and support his family"

Mueller, who played hockey during his college years at Princeton University, faced off against special agent James Meehan of the Secret Service in a ceremonial puck drop before the game.

The Secret Service scored twice and took an early lead, to loud cheers from the stands which were packed with friends and families of the players, as well as other employees of the two agencies. The FBI tied the game soon afterward, but they were constantly on the defensive.

The match came down to the last minute of the first overtime period. With 58 seconds left on the clock, the Secret Service scored the tie-breaking goal that ended the game. The final score was 7-6.

"It's never an easy win," said Todd Nassoiy, one of the special agents playing for the Secret Service team. The Secret Service also won last year, but only after a tense shootout. The FBI won the year before that in overtime.

The match was played at the Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Arlington, Virginia, and organizers said all 2,500 tickets were sold.

Thank You for Your Service.

Mr. Blaine,

I am an Assistant United States Attorney in Pensacola, Florida. Today I was telling our local USSS agent, SA Kevin Clifton, how great your book was and he shared that very recently, he and a group of agents got to visit with the Kennedy Detail agents who were in Jacksonville doing a promotional on the book. I was spell-bound as he told me of his visit with you guys. There is not a finer, more dedicated, more professional group of agents that I have worked with in 33 years than those in the Secret Service. Thank you for your exemplary and sacrificial service to our nation and for sharing the history which you lived through this wonderful book!!

Len Register

AUSA - Pensacola

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Mother and Daughter Send Thanks

Dear Mr. Blaine -

My daughter and I have just finished reading your book. I just wanted to let you know how we both enjoyed the attention to detail and the honesty that you put forth in reliving
the memories of that horrendous day.

I personally will always remember being in Senior year Algebra when we heard the news.
It was something that no one could have imagined. The trauma felt by the whole world
was only multiplied thousands of times for you and the other agents involved.

The book has helped to answer many questions that had been left unanswered. I have read
many books about the Kennedy family over the years. Jackie was a role model to those
of my age - from pill box hats to copies of her jewelry now on sale, we all wanted to
be part of Camelot.

I have known an agent who was on the Reagan detail and a childhood friend of our daughter is just now finishing his training in the Secret Service. I have a new respect for the
sacrifices you and the others have made day to day for our country and for your families
because they too have made sacrifices.

I thank you for writing the book. It is extremely well written and makes the reader feel
the emotion of the moments in those days following the assassination.

Thank you so much.

Kathy Fellin
St. Louis, Missouri

Friday, June 10, 2011

From A Fan

Dear Mr. Blaine,

My sincere thanks to your and your colleagues for sharing your story.

I just finished reading The Kennedy Detail and will read it again. I had my 15th birthday six days before the assassination and have been engrossed in both the man and the times ever since. Over the years I've amassed a small "Kennedy Library" of my own and your book was a gift from my son that I now cherish. After all these years, I still find it difficult to watch documentary footage of that tragic day but until now had no comprehension whatsoever of the loyalty, dedication, and sacrifice displayed by the men of your profession. Each and every one of you truly is a hero!

Thank you again for what must have been an incredibly difficult endeavor.

With admiration,
Fran Souza

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Kennedy Detail Documentary Kicks Off the 31s Annual Breckenridge Film Festival!

June 9th at 4:00 pm and 12th at 3:00 pm

Book Signing will follow the film presentation

If Sundance is too crazy, grand and expensive, come to Breckenridge and recapture those early days of Sundance. Be part of four full days of films and festivities.

Visit to learn more about the 2011 Festival, forums and events.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Kennedy Detail Documentary Kicks Off The 31st Annual Breckenridge Film Festival

June 9th at 4:00pm and 12th at 3:00 pm
Book Signing will follow the film presentation

If Sundance is too crazy, grand and expensive, come to Breckenridge and recapture those early days of Sundance. Be part of four full days of films and festivities.

Visit to learn more about the 2011 Festival, forums and events.