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The Protector:
A Memoir of adventure, courage, and determination

The Protector is an incredible journey of self-discovery, overcoming impossible odds, and harrowing adventures told through the lens of one of the only female agents in the world of international protection and antiterrorism.

Former Secret Service Agent Mary Beth Wilkas’ memoir The Protector is an action-packed journey from Witch burnings in the streets of Haiti and having a bounty placed on her head by the guerrillas in Colombia, to guarding the Bush grandkids in Washington DC and the Versace family in New York City shortly after the tragic murder of Gianni. The Protector is a remarkable story of unbridled success in the high-stakes world of Antiterrorism and international Executive Protection.

Racing through the deplorable streets of Port-au-Prince, Haiti in an armored Chevy Suburban – with a 9mm Glock on her hip, an Uzi submachine gun pointed out the window, and wearing a custom made ballistic vest – Mary Beth was vigilantly doing her job. She was part of an 11-person protection team (10 male Security Agents and her), carrying out a long-term U.S. State Department contract to protect then-President Aristide and his successor, Rene Preval. She was and is the only female to ever protect a foreign leader of a country outside of the United States.

The assignments she accepts and the adventures she finds herself in reveal a life very few people can truly comprehend. Every high-risk mission and every “I’ll do it” is a testament to the bravery, determination, and confidence that embody who Mary Beth is, how she sees the world, and just how far she is willing to go. The Protector is a wild ride with riveting tales of despots, dictators, and dangerous situations as one of the only females in a male dominated industry. Sprinkled with humorous events, such as being brokered for a dowry of 500 cows to a Bangladeshi Colonel and being referred to as the “assistant”, “daughter”, and “lover” of her protectee in Peru, depending on the day and the individual making the blatant judgment.

These incredible missions gave Mary Beth purpose and fueled her vulnerability as well as her bravery. Some hacked away at her faith in humanity while others revitalized her belief in the impossible. The missions in this memoir shaped her life and they have made her who she is today. Every assignment presented a new geographic location, complex conditions, and complicated personalities. Whether immersed in chaos, on the verge of international crisis, or thrust into uncertain danger, Mary Beth shows again and again that she will do whatever it takes to protect the mission, her protectee, and her reputation.