Retired Secret Service Santa Shares Experiences As "Pistol-Packing Santa of White House"

by | Dec. 15, 2015

Mormon Life

While standing guard over a Christmas party at the White House, dressed in an elegant red Santa Claus suit, Jim Shea confided to a guest that he was actually a uniformed officer with the U.S. Secret Service.

“Are you carrying a weapon?” the fellow asked.

“That’s a secret,” replied Shea, “and that’s why they call us the ‘Secret Service.’” Shea was wearing a weapon, as was revealed a few weeks later by CBS News reporter Mark Knoller, who identified Shea as the “Pistol-Packing Santa of the White House.”

Now retired after 27 years of active service, Shea reflects on having protected three presidents and their families, including the Reagans, Clintons and George H.W. Bush and his family. And because of his unique theatrical flair, Shea had many occasions to do this while dressed in a crimson suit, trimmed in white, and sporting a long white beard. Shea was the “Secret Service Santa.”

A devout Irish Catholic, Shea and his wife, Linda, also love the Mormon missionaries, having invited many a companionship to live in the basement of their home in Fredericksburg, Virginia.

Lead image from Deseret News.

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Read the rest of this story at deseret.com
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