On a gloomy January day, a man named Anthony Maggert was driving down a Virginia road in route to a doctor appointment at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Maggert is a military veteran who suffered the loss of a limb while in service due to a flesh-eating bacteria and was headed for a checkup.
Little did he know just how his day would take a turn for the better in ways he never could have imagined. He happened to see a car stranded on the side of the road and instantly felt compelled to pull over and assist the motorist.
“I’m not really starstruck that much. It was just a situation like, here’s somebody on the side of the road who needs help, why not get out?” he told reporters. As he approached the vehicle to offer his hand of assistance, the driver looked wildly familiar.
He knew he had to be imagining things, but the closer he got, he realized he wasn’t imagining anything at all. Right before him in the stranded car was none other than his lifelong idol - Colin Powell.
Maggert told sources he had always admired Powell and had read every one of his books. He even said that the former general was the reason he ever enlisted in the military in the first place, so this meeting held a great deal of sentimental meaning to him.
Powell gave his side of the story: “Yesterday was a reassuring day for me. 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.”
He continued, “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 as for a ‘selfie.’ And then he sent me this message below last night,” he wrote.
This was the message Maggart sent to Powell: “Gen. Powell, I hope I never forget today because I’ll never forget reading your books. You were always an inspiration, a leader, and a 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 Maggart.”
Powell then finished off his post by saying, “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.”