Afghanistan war veteran who lost a leg stops to help his 'idol' Colin Powell change a flat tire

Colin Powell received help with a blown out tyre from a veteran. He shared the story of how the man who had lost his leg "touched his soul." 

The Former Secretary of State was on his way to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center when his left front tire blew out. He braved the weather and got out of his vehicle on Interstate 495.

On Facebook, he wrote: 

"I am a car guy and knew I could change it but it was cold outside and the lug bolts were very tight. I jacked the car up and got several of the bolts removed when a car suddenly pulled up in front of me."

The man said he recognized Powell and offered to help. Powell saw that he was wearing a prosthetic leg. Through conversation, he learned the man had lost it during his time in Afghanistan. 

Power described what happened: 

"He grabbed the lug wrench and finished the job as I put the tools away. Then we both hurriedly headed off to appointments at Walter Reed. I hadn't gotten his name or address but he did ask for a “selfie”."

That evening, Powell received a message from the veteran. It read: 

“'Gen. Powell, I hope I never forget today because I’ll never forget reading your books. You were always an inspiration, a leader and statesman. After 33 years in the military you were the giant whose shoulders we stood upon to carry the torch to light the way and now it is tomorrow’s generation that must do the same. Anthony Maggert.’ ”

Powell told Maggert thanks and also let him know that he "touched his soul and reminded [him] about what this country is all about and why it is so great."

He implored others: 

"Let's stop screaming at each other. Let's just take care of each other. You made my day."

According to CNN, Maggert completed two tours in Afghanistan as well as three in Iraq. He retired from the military just last year after 23 years of service. 

His leaving rank was of major. Maggert attended a culinary school following his retirement. He later told CBS that Powell had been 100 percent an inspiration for him to serve in the military. 

He said: 

"When I was a kid, I thought, wow, it would be cool to be in the military ... but I never thought I would do 23 years in the military. I never thought I would re-deploy as an amputee."

On speaking of his "idol," he said: 

"[Powell] always talked about doing better than just being mediocre. And when I got out of the military this last June, I've always had this passion for going to culinary school. So I go to New York City – lower Manhattan – every weekend to culinary school." 

Maggert believes he's the first amputee who has attended the Institute of Culinary Education. He may also be the first to have left such a strong impression on Powell.

The former politician is a four-star Army general himself. In addition to being a light to others, he's a hard-hitting example of a citizen who rose to influence despite his origin.

Powell was actually born to Jamaican parents and is a birthright citizen. He served as the Secretary of State under George W. Bush's presidential term.

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