George H.W. Bush Secret Service

George H.W. Bush Secret Service
SAIC Ray Shaddick (far left)

Monday, August 27, 2012

Merletti/ Merletti

For Indianapolis Colts safety Matt Merletti, protecting U.S. presidents was just part of 'family business'
11:09 AM, Aug. 24, 2012

Matt Merletti can’t land a job with the Indianapolis Colts, the undrafted rookie safety might try a more dangerous line of defense: the U.S. Secret Service.
It’s not just a backup plan. It’s the family business.

His father, Lew, spent 25 years in the Secret Service, the last two as its 19th director. He helped protect presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, and was Special Agent in Charge on Clinton’s detail in the mid 1990s.

Matt’s brother, Mike, has been accepted into the Secret Service and is waiting out a hiring freeze. Cousin Chris Funk, who grew up in the Merletti household, has been with the Secret Service for 16 years. Lew Merletti’s cousin, Rob, just left President Obama’s detail.

“It would be an interesting career if I would want to pursue that,” Matt Merletti, 24. “It’s definitely on the table for me.”

The NFL is pressure-packed, but not like this.

“There would be a lot more stress guarding the president, having to put your life on the line and step in front of a bullet,” he said.

As a kid, Merletti dressed up as a football player or an Army soldier. For now, the former Cleveland Browns ballboy is chasing his football dream. His dad, who left the Secret Service directorship in 1999 for the Browns, is the team’s senior vice president of security.

“Ask him about Osama bin Laden,” Matt said of his father.

Lew doesn’t need much prompting to talk about the terrorist mastermind behind 9/11. As someone who had studied bin Laden and other terrorists, he warned about the threat years before 9/11. When the first World Trade Center tower was struck by a plane, Lew knew who was behind it.
“When it happened, as soon as the first one went in, I said, ‘Oh my God, it’s bin Laden,’” said Lew, 64. “I had worked so hard when I was in the Secret Service to try to warn Congress, everyone, that this guy is for real. We had to stop this guy.”

Colts head coach Chuck Pagano, the Browns’ secondary coach in 2001, recalled watching the attacks on TV at the team facility with Lew.

“Right off the bat, Lew said, ‘I’ll bet Osama bin Laden is behind this,’” Pagano said. “He knew.”

Matt and his brother were aware, growing up, how scary the world could be. He was just 7 when the boys were taken to Secret Service headquarters and taught how to shoot guns.

That was in response to a terrorist who said on an intercepted radio communication that he wanted to learn everything possible about Lew, his family, his residence.

“I remember it, but I didn’t really know what I was doing,” Matt said. “We had to learn how to shoot guns. They hid guns in our house.”

That was another part of growing up in the Merletti home — knowing where the guns were hidden for protection.

Anybody who meets Matt or Mike makes the connection to Lew. They look alike. When told of Pagano’s assessment that Matt is a “chip off the old block,” both father and son laugh.

It was Lew’s commitment to his family, the recognition of the risk involved, that eventually led to his Secret Service departure. That and the loss of a close friend and colleague killed in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.

When Browns owner Al Lerner promised to make Lew “an offer you can’t refuse,” the father talked it over with his sons. The boys loved football. They wanted him to take the job with the Browns.

Pagano has known Matt since those ballboy days in Cleveland and coached him for a year in college at North Carolina. Merletti had an injury-marred college career but showed enough in his Pro Day workout to attract interest from the NFL.

“He’s a bright, young man, loves football, he’s got all the traits you’re looking for in a person,” Pagano said.

The Colts coach can relate to family bloodlines. Pagano’s father, Sam, was a successful high school football coach. His brother, John, is San Diego’s defensive coordinator.

“When Matt had the opportunity to go to the Colts, it was like, ‘Oh my God, this is where you belong. This is your niche, Matt. This is the perfect leader for you,’” Lew said, referring to Pagano.

Undrafted players are typically longshots to make the final roster. The first round of cuts are Monday, with the final trim to 53 on Aug. 31.

“We’re hoping for the best,” Lew said. “The one thing we’re going to do is what we’ve done our whole life: We’re going to try our very hardest.”

Matt credits his father for instilling a dedicated work ethic. Lew attributes some of that to a tip he received in the Soviet Union while protecting President Reagan on a 1988 visit to Moscow. An Olympic trainer advised a pull-up training regimen beginning on a child’s sixth birthday to strengthen not just the mind but body.

“The last count I had on Matt’s pull-ups was in excess of 43,000, as of his sophomore year in college,” the elder Merletti said.

While Secret Service legacies are typically successful because the next generation knows what to expect, Matt and Lew aren’t thinking too far ahead. It’s all about football, at least for now.

Lew eagerly awaited his son’s NFL preseason debut on Aug. 12 at Lucas Oil Stadium when his phone buzzed at 1:14 p.m., about 15 minutes before kickoff.

Just before leaving the locker room, Matt sent the text message: “Thanks for everything you’ve done for me. I wouldn’t be here without you. I love you.”
The father beamed.

“I’ll be honest with you,” Lew said, “I sat in the stands with tears in my eyes.”

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

THE best book EVER written on the Secret Service is available NOW: "Within Arm's Length: The Extraordinary Life and Career of a Special Agent in the United States Secret Service" by Dan Emmett

THE best book EVER written on the Secret Service is available NOW: "Within Arm's Length: The Extraordinary Life and Career of a Special Agent in the United States Secret Service" by Dan Emmett


Available at Amazon.Com:
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Also Available at iUniverse:
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as an E-book-

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in hardcover-
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Available in late February from Barnes and Noble, Books a Million, Kendall, Nook and others.



Dan Emmett was just eight years old when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. The events surrounding the president’s death shaped the course of young Emmett’s life as he set a goal of becoming a US Secret Service agent—one of a special group of people willing to trade their lives for that of the president, if necessary.

Within Arm’s Length narrates the story of Emmett’s journey in this coveted job—from the application process to his retirement as assistant to the special agent in charge on the elite Presidential Protective Division (PPD). Here he discusses some of his more high-profile assignments in his twenty-one years of service, including the PPD and the Counter Assault Team where he provided arm’s length protection worldwide for Presidents George Herbert Walker Bush, William Jefferson Clinton, and George W. Bush.

This memoir describes the professional challenges faced by Secret Service agents as well as the physical and emotional toll that can be inflicted on both agents and their families. Within Arm’s Length also shares firsthand details about the duties and challenges of conducting presidential advances, dealing with the media, driving the president in a bullet-proof limousine, running alongside him through the streets of Washington, and flying with him on Air Force One.

With fascinating anecdotes, Emmett weaves keen insight into the unique culture and history of the Secret Service



The best book on the Secret Service ever written! A must have! Outstanding!

Former Secret Service agent Dan Emmett, author of "Within Arm's Length", is to be commended on putting together a refreshing take on a well-worn subject as of late: the United States Secret Service. While many of the books written by former agents are ghost-written, dry, dull, and are often dated, Emmett's is exciting, never boring, compelling, and employed no co-author or ghost-writer; this work is solely his own. After the recent debacle of best-selling author Ronald Kessler's dubious tome "In The President's Secret Service: Behind the Scenes with Agents in the Line of Fire and the Presidents They Protect", a book that seemingly betrayed the trust of the agents, past and present, that the author took into his confidence, littering the literary landscape with dubious tawdry tales of presidential sex, alleged agency incompetence, or worse, Emmett's book will be embraced by scholars, the public and, perhaps most important of all, his colleagues.

Someone needed to take up the mantle and do away with all the controversy, poor writing, myopic outlook, and compromising information out there on the Secret Service and write a book the agency would be proud of AND that would also appeal to the lay public, as well. Dan Emmett took up the quest and succeeded admirably. In short, "Within Arm's Length" is the antidote to Kessler, McCarthy, and all the silly and overwrought books and television specials that violate the agency's code of being Worthy of Trust and Confidence. If there was a literary Medal of Valor the Secret Service could award Emmett for his book, they should hold the ceremony tomorrow. Emmett's book truly reads like he had this epiphany: "I have had enough with Kessler, the hero worship, the gossip, the untruths, and all the crap---here is the TRUE story of an agent without the junk... and no compromising information, dammit!" Mission accomplished.

In short, Dan Emmett provides the reader with the nuts and bolts without giving away the game, so to speak.

"Within Arm's Length" grabs the reader from the very first sentence and doesn't ever let up.

"Within Arm's Length" is, without question, the best book ever written about the Secret Service: current, well-written, classy, very informative, but, most importantly, does not indulge in hero worship of presidents or reveal "inside secrets" or other compromising details. In short, "WITHIN ARM'S LENGTH" makes you feel like you are THERE! Emmett is a great guy with an impressive background who truly represents the valor of the Secret Service. Emmett has given a blueprint for all agents---past, present, and future---to follow and admire. Worthy of Trust & Confidence indeed! Dan Emmett is an example of a great American.

Vince Palamara, literary Secret Service expert