On Thursday, January 24th, a heartwarming story played out on the side of I-495 in Maryland. Four-star general and former Secretary of State, Gen. Colin Powell, was on his way to an appointment at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center when he suffered a flat tire. General Powell began the process of changing his tire but before he could get the lug bolts removed in the cold weather a good Samaritan stopped to help.

    Anthony Maggert, a disabled Afghanistan war veteran, jumped straight into action, helping change the flat tire and asking only for a selfie with the General in return.

    “Yesterday was a reassuring day for me,” Powell said. “I was on my way to Walter Reed Military Hospital for an exam. As I drove along Interstate 495 my left front tire blew out. 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. As the man got out of his car I could see that he had an artificial leg. He said he recognized me and wanted to help me. We chatted and I learned that he lost his leg in Afghanistan when he worked over there as a civilian employee. 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.'”

Colin Powell and Anthony Maggert

    The impromptu meeting clearly meant a great deal to Gen. Powell, with his reply stating: “Thanks, Anthony. You touched my soul and reminded me about what this country is all about and why it is so great,” Powell wrote on Facebook. “Let’s stop screaming at each other. Let’s just take care of each other. You made my day.”

    Later, Mr. Maggert contacted the former Secretary of State on Facebook and left him this heartwarming message: “Gen. Powell, I hope I never forget today because I’ll never forget reading your books,” The message continued: “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.”

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