The Kennedy Detail
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Monday, October 31, 2011

The Kennedy Detail Reader's Review

great book from a bona fide Kennedy reader
Clementine Dare "Clementine" (Gilbert, Arizona, USA)

I'm one of those people that buy all the Kennedy books and read them. As a consequence I've learned quite a bit about the family and the Kennedy era. This book included many tiny details that were new to me (for example, when Air Force One landed in Love Field, it was after a very brief flight because they wanted to capitalize on the effect of disembarking from Air Force One). I thought Clint Hill came across as deeply honorable. I was touched and impressed to learn that the after all the sacrifice his job entailed his wife met JFK for the first time at the funeral. This book was also very personally written, I like how the author debunks various rumors surrounding the agents and conspiracy ideas. Just an amazing read. I recommend this book to any student of history or anyone with interest in the Kennedy era.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Obama Visits The West Coast

Secret Service agents turn away from the blast of air from Air Force One as President Barack Obama departs from San Francisco International airport in San Francisco, Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2011. Obama is on a three-day trip to the west coast. (Photo Eric Risberg)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Kennedy Detail Reader's Review

An intriguing and inspiring read, impossible to put down.
John Day

The Kennedy Detail is an inspiring and intriguing read, one which lays bare the sacrifices of nearly anonymous men taking on a sisyphean task, and doing so without the slightest hint of self promotion or eventual reward. The book paints a vivid picture of men who constantly navigated the opposing needs of retail politics versus perfect security, using physical strength, endurance, acumen and psychology to constantly balance risks in real time, knowing always that a single moment's lapse could spell disaster.

The story is riveting, matched by an equally heartbreaking understanding that for a half a century these men have lived with the searing guilt and gnawing self-doubt of having lost a president during one of the most critical and volatile time periods in US history. This clearly wasn't an easy book to write.

It is difficult these days for most of us to recognize and truly comprehend the context of the events of November, 1963. Most of us simply weren't there, or weren't yet adults. But Blaine's recounting provides a window into the men, their lives, families and struggles, and the global and local events that shaped their day. It reveals the men of the secret service as the best of the best, not just in physical ability and mental acuity, but also in commitment, integrity, and duty.

It is this last aspect which gives the book its greatest impact - these were men for whom commitment was, and is, the guiding principal in their lives. It seems clear that JFK's commitment to the country was mirrored by the author and all the men whose entire lives were devoted to protecting the president and his family.

While this is a book that may primarily be of interest to those of us who remember using Brylcreem, it's one worth passing along to the younger generation around us. Examples of selfless duty and lifelong integrity are as valuable today as they were then.

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Emmys!

R-L: Jay Renfroe, Jay's Mom, Joyce Blaine, Lisa McCubbin, Ken Atchity, Chi-Li Wong & Clint Hill

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Paul J. Nyden: The JFK assassination: Agent recalls dark day

By Paul J. Nyden

"The Kennedy Detail: JFK's Secret Service Agents Break Their Silence"

By Gerald Blaine and Lisa McCubbin

Simon & Schuster Gallery Books, 427 pages. Hardcover, $28.

Back on Nov. 22, 1963, a team of Secret Servicemen failed in their task to protect the life of the president of the United States.

Jerry Blaine, a member of that elite team, tells his story for the first time in his book, "The Kennedy Detail: JFK's Secret Service Agents Break Their Silence."

Blaine also writes about the tragic memories of several of his fellow Secret Service agents. Kennedy often banned them from his car and frequently jumped into crowds of people gathered around him, giving little notice to his protectors.

Blaine is the first member of Kennedy's Secret Service detail to write a book about the assassination.

On that tragic day in 1963, there were only 43 Secret Service members assigned to protecting Kennedy. The Secret Service's annual budget of $4.1 million funded 300 agents.

After JFK was killed, the agency expanded. Today, the Secret Service has 4,000 agents and an annual budget of more than $1.6 billion.

Lee Harvey Oswald fired three shots that day. The first shot was fired at Kennedy, and the second hit Texas Gov. John Connally. When the third shot hit Kennedy in the head, Secret Service agents immediately knew, Blaine recalls, that the devastating wound would prevent him from functioning as president, even if he were not killed.

Kennedy's trip to Texas was the first time his usually private wife Jacqueline made a political appearance with him since he was elected president three years earlier.

During his trip Kennedy received warm welcomes from people in Houston, San Antonio and Fort Worth.

"It was the hidden loner the Secret Service agents worried about most," Blaine writes.

And while there are no apparent ties with Oswald, the "Dallas Morning News" printed a full-page advertisement the day of the assassination paid for by the American Fact-Finding Committee. The ad accused Kennedy of being a traitor who supported communism.

In a foreword to Blaine's book, Clint Hill, a fellow Secret Service agent also on duty in Dallas that day, wrote: "No matter how much training you've had, nothing prepares you for the emotions and nightmares that follow the horror of seeing a human being alive one instant, their head blown open the next."

Throughout his book, Blaine and his fellow agents tell how friendly the president, his wife and children were to them.

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Copyright 2011 The Charleston Gazette. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Kelly Shawn Meeko (Blaine) passed away

Dear family and friends,

Our daughter, Kelly Shawn Meeko, after fighting a sixteen year battle with cancer and radiation side effects passed away. In all of that time there was never a complaint, there was always faith in her lord Jesus and there was more courage than I have ever witnessed from anyone in my life.

As long as she was able, she home schooled Jay and her two children, Joseph and Kayla and taught them the sound basics of learning while teaching them the human values of life and living, plus she passed on her faith. Her husband Jay was with her every step of the way and together they made the nucleus of a wonderful family.

Jay gave Kelly a surprise birthday party in February of this year and Kelly had everything going for her and had a wonderful evening with family and friends who had flown in for the occasion. She danced, laughed and celebrated.

After that the toll off her illness cascaded on her. Because of the massive amounts of radiation required to kill the massive tumor located behind her nose those sixteen long years ago, the effects steadily took their toll. After a septic coma in August she continued her fight and mustered up the grit to survive, but slowly her vision faded and she could no longer, hear nor talk, She breathed through a trachea with the help of oxygen and fed through a stomach tube. On this past Thursday, while Jay was with her, she could no longer muster up the energy to complete a breath and passed on. It was time and I have no doubt that she is finally in heaven reaping the rewards of her steadfast love and devotion to her savior, Jesus Christ..

Funeral arrangements have been made at the Bateman Carroll Funeral Home, 520 West Powell Blvd. in Gresham Oregon 97030. for 3;00 pm, Sunday, October 23 rd.

The Meeko family home address is 15 SE 49 th circle, Gresham Or. 97080. I am sure they would love to receive cards or letters of comfort..

Jerry and Joyce Blaine

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Kennedy Detail Reader's Review

Definitive History. The True Insider Story

Gerald Blaine has written the definitive insider account of the Secret Service security detail of the Kennedy Administration, and particularly of the specific events of that faithful day in Dallas. Written from the perspectives of those who actually worked the detail, the reader gets the true history of John Kennedy's Secret Service protection. Co-written by Lisa McCubbin, who deserves kudos for making the narrative an easy and enjoyable read, the book validates the finds of Vincent Bugliosi's exhaustive "Reclaiming History" and Gerald Posner's "Case Closed" on the Kennedy assassination.

Yes indeed it was that low life Lee Harvey Oswald, who killed President Kennedy. All the nitpicking, convoluted and speculative arguments surrounding the CIA, the Mafia, the Russians, The Cubans, and LBJ himself will not change the logical conclusion that Oswald was the lone gunman.

What is it about human nature that draws so many to conspiracy theories? It doesn't just involve the Kennedy assassination. Some to this day believe that Edwin Stanton may have played a part in the Lincoln assassination. There are those who push the notion that singer Mario Lanza was done in by the mob. Lanza actually died from complications of phlebitis. Many push the theory that TV's Superman George Reeves was murdered by a jealous former mobster boyfriend of his last lady friend. A study of the facts points to a likely suicide by Reeves. And lets not forget the conspiracy theory that the Kennedys themselves had Marilyn Monroe put to sleep to keep her quiet about her alleged affairs with JFK and RFK. Proof please.

If you took all the JFK conspiracy theories and all their infinitive unending speculations, the number of possible suspects of those involved in the Kennedy assassination would fill a football stadium. Unless you are part of the "Don't confuse me with the facts my mind is made up" crowd buy Gerald Blaine's book and relive history as it was.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Emmys!

 With my wife Joyce, Ken Atchity, Kayoko Mitsumatsu, Clint Hill & Lisa McCubbin

With Fred Griffin

Monday, October 10, 2011

Huge fan of book

Dear Mr. Blaine,

I wanted to write you and say how much I enjoyed your book. Having
read through many books on the Kennedy Presidency and legacy, your
book lent a credibility that simply cannot be questioned. Thank you
for encouraging the guys to lend their recollections to what is sure
to become a definitive account of those tragic events.

If you ever make it back through Los Angeles, perhaps for the
paperback, I'll be sure to attend the signing.

I know you guys don't like the term hero. Fair enough. But you had a
heroic job, did heroic things, lived a crazy schedule barely balancing
your family life with your work life that only a hero could pull off;
so you'll forgive me when I say, you sir, are a hero.

Thank you for this book. Thank you for your service.

Fred Shahadi

Friday, October 7, 2011

Michelle Obama tells Secret Service: 'Just tell me when — where to run'

First lady Michelle Obama made a rare trip to Secret Service headquarters Wednesday, where she glimpsed the intricate work that goes into protecting her family — and the potential danger of that mission.

After an hour long tour of the agency’s protective intelligence division and the joint operations center, Obama called the daily tasks performed by the Secret Service “pretty scary.”

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Join me and Clint Hill at the West Viriginia Book Festival - October 22nd!

The Kennedy Detail

portrait:  Gerald Blaineportrait:  Clint Hill

Saturday, October 22, 11:30 a.m., WV 105

Two former U.S. Secret Service agents who served on the Kennedy Detail set the record straight about what really happened on the afternoon of Nov. 22, 1963, in Dallas.

Monday, October 3, 2011

From Simon and Schuster Forum

Dear Ms. Lisa McCubbin, dear Mr. Gerald Blaine,

thank you for writing this extraordinary book abot the Kennedy detail. Aging 43, I became interested in the JFK assassination for the first time in 1992, when I was watching Oliver Stone´s " JFK". Since then I read various books about various conspirarcy theories as described in your book.

Dear Mr. Gerald Blaine, I´d like to thank you for your personal story and those of your then fellow agents. Thank you for many funny anecdotes during the detail and last but not least the very precise and heartbraking description of the assassination and its aftermath.

I´d like to let you know that I have entirely changed from a conspiracy enthusiast in the first place in the 1990s to such of the Warren Commission result. I have read the Warren Commission report. In comparison to those books which describe various conspiracy theories, the results of Warren Commission report are the most convincing. There might be ( or not) failures of investigations in it. However, after nearly 50 years since the assassination in Dallas no such conspiracy could ever been proved and to be honest to continue those theories is, to me, must be a permanent punch into the face of the Kennedy family, in particular for the only surviving child, Caroline Kennedy.

I allow myself as a much younger person who has never witnessed the scene in Dallas to tell you that I cannot see any guilt or personal responsibility for the death of the 35th President of the US. Neither you nor your fellow agents ever had chance to avoid the shooting. I am not saying that I disrespect your own feelings or those of your fellow agents. I am trying to say that from a rational point of view, there was nothing you could have done at the scene, as it happened. You were expressing this in your book as well, I think. You simply did a great job!

I hope for you personally and for the rest of the remaining fellow agents who are still alive, that you may find your peace and that the endless conspiracy theories may come to an end soon. I hope many more are going to read " The Kennedy detail"

Thank you for your brilliant book again!

Kind regards

Christoph Maurenbrecher