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A retired Secret Service agent shares tales from the White House

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River to River, hosted by Ben Kieffer

What is it like to be a U.S. Secret Service special agent?

Shenandoah native John Bay served in the U.S. Secret Service for more than 20 years. He graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in music education - and was a cohort of Simon Estes.

River to River host Ben Kieffer spends this episode with Bay, discussing how he enlisted in the U.S. Army as a field interrogator during the Vietnam War, and how that led to working at the White House during the Nixon and Ford administrations.

He even sings a couple of bars with a nod to his hometown.

This episode was originally produced April 6, 2023.


  • John Bay, former U.S. Secret Service special agent, North Liberty resident
Ben Kieffer is the host of IPR's River to River
Samantha McIntosh is a talk show producer at Iowa Public Radio. Prior to IPR, Samantha worked as a reporter for radio stations in southeast and west central Iowa under M&H Broadcasting, and before that she was a weekend music host for GO 96.3 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.