PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla .– Military veterans in Palm Beach County remember the time they met General Colin Powell.
Standing outside his Wellington home, Vietnam veteran Jerry Kline shared a Polaroid photo of him standing next to General Powell in the nation’s capital in 1999.
Kline said: “I was impressed. Because I knew his story. I knew what he stood for. He was truly an honorable man.”
When the photo was taken, Kline was at Memorial Day ceremonies in Washington DC while serving on the Vietnam American Veterans National Board of Directors.
Powell made two decorated tours during the Vietnam War.
Kline said his unit was close to Powell’s in 1968.
âMy unit was a little north of his, but it’s a very sad day,â Kline said.
Considering Powell’s decades of military service, it’s not just local Vietnam veterans who remember him. Another local veteran of a well-known mission in the 90s also met the general.
Matt Eversmann was an Army Ranger in the Black Hawk Down mission.
From his West Palm Beach home, he shared his memories of meeting Powell twice.
âHe made you feel like you’re the most important guy and we say that all the time, but he’s one of those where we really mean it. I mean he’s a good, kind man and everyone knows his pedigree, âsaid Eversmann.
When Powell retired, Eversmann said his army unit sent the general a special gift during an overseas raid.
“We captured weapons in a raid we had carried out and sent one of those AK-47s back to Washington for him as a retirement gift which I believe was well received by the general,” said said Eversmann.