Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Help Secret Service Agent Clint Hill's Grandson Fight Testicular Cancer

Jared Hill and Clint Hill
Hylton High School Graduation 2014
It's the kind of news no one wants to hear.  Last fall, retired Secret Service agent Clint Hill received a text message from his then 17-year-old grandson, Jared Hill:

Hi PopPop -- I just found out I have testicular cancer.

Jared was just beginning his senior year of high school.  While his friends were attending football games and class parties, Jared was undergoing surgery, followed by chemotherapy.  Due to his weakened immune system, his doctors told him he could no longer attend classes, so he had to be home schooled, with limited visitors.  It was not the way any young man expects, or wants, to spend his senior year.

Testicular cancer is the most common form of cancer affecting young men ages 15 - 35, but it is also one of the most treatable cancers, as long as it is caught early.  Treatment is not easy, as Jared learned, and it is expensive.

Jared's family and friends have rallied to help mitigate his mounting medical bills, and on August 9, there will be a fundraiser to help Jared and many others like him who are battling this deadly disease. All are welcome.  If you cannot participate, we invite you to contribute either to Jared Hill directly, or to one of the following organizations that have helped Jared and provide support for those like him.

Please make checks payable to one of the options below and send to:
"Nobody Fights Cancer Alone" Poker Run
c/oDana DeSantis, Treasurer
11850 Catoctin Drive
Woodbridge, VA 22192

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Death of Secret Service Agent Lem Johns

Sadly, another Secret Service agent, who had a remarkable career in the service of our country has died.  Lem Johns was one of the agents on Vice President Lyndon Johnson's Secret Service Detail in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963 when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. He is seen standing in the doorway of Air Force One in the iconic photo of LBJ taking the oath of office. 

Two years later, in 1965, Johns became the Special Agent in Charge of Presidential Protection.  Originally from Birmingham, Alabama, Lem spoke the same language as President Johnson, both of them southerners, through and through. When Johns was promoted to Assistant Director of all protective forces, Clint Hill succeeded him in becoming the Agent in Charge of President Johnson's detail.

Clint Hill recalls Johns as an extremely dedicated agent.  "He and Rufus Youngblood saved my career," Hill says. "When I first went to the ranch in 1964, President Johnson didn't want me on the detail.  But Lem and Ruf convinced him to keep me on.  In the end, I succeeded Lem as Agent in Charge, and President Johnson trusted me implicitly."

Lem's proudest legacy was that his son, Jeff, and then his grandson Mike, became Secret Service agents, as well.

Last week, Clint Hill and I happened to be in Austin, Texas at the LBJ Library and at the LBJ Ranch, in Stonewall, Texas, where all the Secret Service agents spent a great deal of time during the Johnson administration.  Below are some additional photos of Secret Service Agent Lem Johns.

For more on Lem Johns' life and career, see the attached article in today's New York Times.

NY Times: Lem Johns Dies at 88