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Clint Hill and the JFK Assassination – a Secret Service Agent's Burden

Five Presidents: My Extraordinary Journey with Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, and Ford (Gallery/Simon and Schuster, May 3, 2016).  We have been humbled by the tremendous interest and response to the book, and along the way I spoke with Rob Nikolewski of the San Diego Tribune. He published this article, in which he writes about the toll the assassination of JFK has taken on me, and how it affected my career in the Secret Service. http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/2016/may/24/clint-hill-jfk/ There is no doubt that writing and talking about the assassination has benefited me greatly.  Strange as it may sound, I never realized or acknowledged that I had been suffering from what is now known as PTSD for all those years, and one of my messages as I travel around talking about the book, is to tell others who may be suffering from PTSD that I went about it all wrong for many many years.  Holding it inside and turning to alcohol and/or drugs is not the answer. Despite how painful it is to relive and remember whatever you witnessed, I firmly believe that the only way to get beyond it is to talk with someone you trust. You can’t change the past, but you can take charge of your own future.  I am thankful that finally I am once again able to enjoy life. During the book tour, I was able to meet with many current Secret Service agents and I am always pleased to see the determination and dedication they have to uphold the mission. Presidential election years are always challenging, but this one has some unique challenges, and the Secret Service is doing a tremendous job.  I am humbled and proud to have served in their ranks. Thanks to the thousands of people who came to spend an hour or two listening to the stories of this Secret Service agent. You continue to help me thrive.]]>

2 Comments

  1. Shelley Newman on July 19, 2016 at 4:54 pm

    Loved the book about Mrs. Kennedy. I particularly enjoyed your comments about Onassis and his small eyes and what his looks conveyed to you and his playing games with your job. I am glad to hear that you have been able to enjoy life again.

    Quite frankly, no woman nowadays would put up with what your wife had to handle during your days in the SS. It is just a different world. People expect to have a family life today. Best of luck and I hope your generous spirit continues to light your life.

  2. Mary Ellen Resch on December 20, 2016 at 12:19 am

    Just read your wonderful book, couldn’t put it down. Having lost my own husband from brain cancer, and watching a great guy deteriorate over the course of eight months I fully appreciate the PTSD that you experienced. I couldn’t put a finger and define my own pain for a long time after my husband passed. Although this was not as in the moment as horrific as you went thru all the same I carried a ton of guilt that I just didn’t do ENOUGH to help him, an awful state to be in. I greatly admire your courage in coming forward and not only writing about your guilt about the Presidents death but your courage to speak about your journey to acceptance on that awful day was not any thing that you could have truly prevented. Some times, it is what it is.

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