Powell says veteran’s help ‘touched soul’

Former US Secretary of State Colin Powell has described how the help he received from a US veteran had “touched his soul”.

Mr Powell was on his way to a hospital near Washington DC for a medical examination when his tyre blew out.

He was changing the wheel when Anthony Maggert stopped to give him a hand, he wrote on Facebook.

The veteran, who lost a leg in Afghanistan, said he recognised Mr Powell and wanted to help him.

Describing the episode, Mr Powell said: “Thanks, Anthony. You touched my soul and reminded me about what this country is all about and why it is so great.

“Let’s stop screaming at each other. Let’s just take care of each other. You made my day.”

In response to the post, Mr Maggert later said: “Today we showed the country that all it takes is slowing down to lend a hand.”

Yesterday was a reassuring day for me. I was on my way to Walter Reed Military Hospital for an exam. As I drove along…

End of Facebook post by General Colin L. Powell

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“I am a car guy and knew I could change it but it was cold outside and the lug bolts were very tight,” Mr Powell, who was President George W Bush’s secretary of state, wrote in the post published on Thursday.

“I jacked the car up and got several of the bolts removed when a car suddenly pulled up in front of me.”

He said Mr Maggert, who worked in Afghanistan as a civilian employee, then stopped to help him: “He grabbed the lug wrench and finished the job as I put the tools away.”

They then both went on their way to their respective medical appointments at Water Reed Military Hospital.

Mr Maggert later wrote to Mr Powell to say he had been “an inspiration to him” all his life.

“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.”

Mr Maggert served as a contracting officer in the US Army and did three tours in Iraq and two in Afghanistan before leaving the military last year.

He left with the rank of major after 23 years of military service, he told CNN.

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