It is unfortunate that the recent behavior of some Secret Service agents has over-shadowed the agency's reputation for protecting the president and vice president, former presidents, U.S. Supreme Court justices, cabinet members and their families.

These agents put their lives on the lines every day when on duty and for that, we Americans should be grateful and I believe we are. Many have been killed doing their jobs. I have found Secret Service agents to be totally professional in my dealings with them.

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During my career on Capitol Hill, I was moved to the side to allow foreign dignitaries through the door ahead of me on several occasions. When then Vice President George H.W. Bush came to the Rayburn House Office Building to visit a former colleague from his days as a member of the House of Representatives, the agents allowed our staff to come to the door and meet him.

He and my boss at the time, Rep. Jack Brinkley of Georgia, were elected to the House at the same time. I was fortunate to visit the White House on several occasions under their watchful eyes and ear phones. The agents were polite and respectful at all times.

I now live near Annapolis. For 23 years, the Parole Rotary Club, of which I am a past president, has been in charge of parking at Navy football games. During the presidential campaign of Sen. John McCain, who is an alumnus of the Naval Academy, and his wife Cindy, attended one of the games.

Prior to the game, the Secret Service agents on that detail introduced themselves and showed their badges to we Rotarians stationed at the gate the McCains would enter. They knew we would report any suspicious activity so if we knew who they were, we would not be concerned. I was pleased to see so many female agents and again, all the agents were polite and respectful.

Please consider this a salute to all of you excellent Secret Service agents. Your professional behavior has been observed and will not be forgotten. I wish you well in the future and thank you for your service (secret or not) to our democracy.

Joyce Edelson, Riva

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