Former Secretary of State Gen Colin Powell died at the age of 84. The family stated he was fully vaccinated, yet he passed from complications from Covid. But first, let’s review his career and accomplishments:
Colin Powell was a four-star Army General who served as Secretary of State under President George W Bush. He was the first black to serve as SecDef, and to date, the last one. He was also the first black man to serve as head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He was the National Security Advisor for Ronald Reagan. He was the recipient of numerous decorations/awards for his service including to the US government, from Distinguished Service awards in various branches to a Soldier’s Medal for saving the lives of all passengers in a helicopter crash in Vietnam in 1968, a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star. He received two Legions of Merit. He retired from the Army in 1993.
In 1962, he was one of 16,000 advisers sent to South Vietnam by President John F. Kennedy. In 1963, Powell was wounded by a punji-stick booby trap while patrolling the Vietnamese-Laotian border. During this first tour of duty, he was awarded a Purple Heart and, a year later, a Bronze Star….
Colonel Powell served a tour of duty in Korea in 1973 as a battalion commander and after that, he obtained a staff job at the Pentagon. He attended the National War College in Washington, D.C. from 1975-1976. He was promoted to brigadier general in 1976 and commanded the 2nd Brigade of the 101st Airborne Division. In the Carter administration, Powell was an assistant to the deputy secretary of defense and the secretary of energy. Promoted to major general, he again assisted Frank Carlucci at the Department of Defense during the transition from the Carter to the Reagan administration. He then served as senior military aide to Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger, helping to coordinate the invasion of Granada and the bombing of Libya….
Powell began his American journey from ordinary circumstances. His close-knit family provided support and a caring environment during his childhood. He found his calling in the military, and his entire adult life has been in the service of his country. As a soldier, he was committed to protecting the nation and advancing democratic values. While he gravitated toward support roles early in his career, his organizational talent and pragmatic outlook were recognized by those who placed him in key government advisory roles.
The negative side included speaking at the Democratic National Convention in 2020- even though a Republican, Powell believed that Trump was dividing the country, so he threw his considerable political weight behind Biden. As we all now know, it was a grievous error on his part.
Powell had a blood cancer, and including the fact that he was elderly, he was a huge risk for getting Covid. His vaccination didn’t take as well because of the cancer in his blood – his body didn’t develop enough antibodies to stave off the disease. So he became one of those “breakthrough” cases.
Honor to whom honor is due, America. Regardless of political differences, we honor his service.