Wednesday, October 21, 2009
I know it is a day late, but here goes. This week's honoree is both a patriot and a hero. This week I honor Timothy J. McCarthy. Very few people know this man, or the effects his brave actions had on our great nation. On March 30, 1981, a deranged madman by the name of John Warnock Hinckley, Jr. attempted to gun down President Ronald Reagan in an attempt to impress Hollyweird harlot Jodie Foster. During the assassination attempt, Secret Service special agent Tim McCarthy bravely jumped between The President and Hinckley to act as a human shield while another agent pushed President Reagan into the waiting limousine. Special agent McCarty was struck one time in the abdomen by a unexploded "Devastator" .22 round. and suffered a lacerated liver. Special agent McCarty went against his natural urge to run from danger, and instead placed himself in danger to protect another person. This incredibly brave action is in keeping with the best and finest traditions of the United States Secret Service. It is a twisted bit of irony that because of another agent's quick actions, President Reagan was struck in the armpit by a bullet that ricocheted of the limo and lodged in a lung near his heart. In yet another twisted bit of irony, Special agent McCarty was on a day off, but after a request for an additional agent, McCarthy flipped a coin with another off duty agent and lost. Fortunately for agent McCarthy and his family, that is all he lost. For his brave actions, special agent McCarthy was awarded the NCAA Award of Valor and the Secret Service Medal of Valor. Agent McCarthy rose to the rank of Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago Secret Service field office. He retired from the Secret Service in 1993, and has served as the Chief of Police for Orland, Illinois.