U.S. Secret Service agent is 1st victim with Md. ties


The name of Alan G. Whicher, a Secret Service agent killed in the Oklahoma City bomb explosion, was misspelled in yesterday's editions of The Sun.

* The Sun regrets the error.

Alan G. Wicher, a supervisor in the Oklahoma field office of the U.S. Secret Service and a former member of President Clinton's security detail, is the first person with Maryland ties identified so far among the victims of Wednesday's bomb blast.

Mr. Wicher, 40, was among five employees of the Secret Service who were killed in the field office at the Oklahoma City federal building. Among the dead were four agents and an investigative assistant. An office manager is still missing, said David Adams, a spokesman for the Secret Service's Washington field office.

Mr. Wicher joined the Secret Service in April 1976 in Washington. His assignments included stints in Vice President George Bush's security detail, the New York field office and Mr. Clinton's security detail.

Gov. George W. Bush, Mr. Bush's son, attended the memorial service Sunday in Oklahoma City and received a tearful embrace from Mr. Wicher's wife, Pamela Wicher.

"Laura [Governor Bush's wife] and I were sitting there, and a Secret Service agent I remembered from the White House days came up and said, 'There's a family here that was very close to your dad,' " Governor Bush said.

"The agent said would I talk to the wife and I said sure, and we had a big tearful embrace right there."

Mr. Wicher was an assistant to the special agent in charge of security for Mr. Clinton from April 1991 until August, when he was transferred to Oklahoma City, Mr. Adams said.

Mr. Wicher and his wife sold their house on Red Clover Drive in Rockville and moved to Oklahoma with their three children, Meredith 16, Melinda, 15, and Ryan, 13. But they told neighbors they planned to return to the area in two or three years.

"I think they said the only thing to worry about was they might die of boredom in Oklahoma," said Jenny Bradley, who lived next door to the Wichers in Rockville.

She described Mr. Wicher as a dedicated family man who was active in his parish, St. Patrick's Roman Catholic in Rockville, where a funeral Mass will be celebrated tomorrow at 11 a.m.

"I think his job and his family were the important things to him," Mrs. Bradley said.

Mr. Wicher was raised in nearby Calverton. He and his wife attended school together. "They were high school sweethearts," she said.

Mrs. Bradley said Mr. Wicher traveled a lot in his work, but when he was home, she would often see him tending his rose garden.

Mr. Adams said he worked with Mr. Wicher when they were both assigned to the New York field office.

"He was a great guy," he said. "The Secret Service is mourning, the law enforcement community is mourning. It's a very trying time."

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