This is How You Make America Great

Published: February 5, 2019

By Jim Lichtman
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With the potential for yet another government shutdown, Washington Republicans and Democrats talking past each other, what we need most are stories that remind us who we are and what we really stand for.

Iraq and Afghanistan vet Anthony Maggert was driving to an appointment at Walter Reed Medical Center last Wednesday when he spotted someone on the side of the road with car problems.

“It was just a situation like, here’s somebody on the side of the road who needs help, why not get out?” Maggert told CBS News.

Maggert pulled over, got out of his car and walked over to help when he recognized that the driver with the car problems was former Secretary of State, General Colin Powell.

“The closer I got to the vehicle, I saw the face and I said, ‘That has to be Colin Powell,” Maggert said.

Maggert not only served tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, but said he had read all of General Powell’s books and, as CBS News reports (Jan. 25), “that the former general inspired him to enlist. ‘[He] 100 percent did – maybe 1,000 percent,’ Maggert said.

“Maggert, who contracted a flesh-eating bacteria and lost one of his legs in Afghanistan, said he and Powell ‘chatted it up like two Army buddies’ while they changed the tire.

“Powell wrote about the encounter on Facebook. ‘Yesterday was a reassuring day for me,’ he wrote. ‘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,’ the former secretary of state wrote. ‘As the man got out of his car I could see that he had an artificial leg.’ ”

Maggert’s only request was that he take a selfie with the former General and Powell was happy to do so.

“Gen. Powell,” Maggert wrote in a message to Powell later, “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 wrote back: “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.”

Can I have an Amen?!


  1. General Powell in my estimation is a True Statesman, one who can recognize his mistakes and take ownership of said mistakes. He can offer the best thought-out advice to our Leaders from lessons learned over the years and never forgetting that it was the simple soldiers that helped launch his career making him the consummate leader that stands instead of Our Finest Leaders throughout American History. He ultimately found his calling by wrapping himself in the minds of our children, teaching and fortifying their abilities.

    I served during most of the same years the General Served 1962-83. I never ran across him although I wish I had. I like to think that the Soldiers of those years were different, tougher as they had to be because of the political climate at home but as Tradition has it from the Beginning of Our Country, Our Soldiers Always Found A Way to Be There When The Nation Called.

    May the General Rest In Peace… I Surrender Unto Him My Final Salute!


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