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Palm Beach County veterans remember Gen. Colin Powell

Photos: Mourners gather at the US Capitol to honor President George H.W. Bush
Posted at 1:13 PM, Oct 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-18 16:14:37-04

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — Military veterans in Palm Beach County are remembering the times they met Gen. Colin Powell.

Standing in front of his Wellington Home, Vietnam Veteran Jerry Kline shared the Polaroid picture of him standing next to General Powell in the nation’s capital in 1999.

Kline said, "I was in awe. Because I knew his history. I knew what he stood for. He was truly an honorable man."

When the picture was taken, Kline was at Memorial Day ceremonies in Washington D.C. while serving on the Vietnam Veterans of America National Board of Directors.

Powell served two decorated Vietnam war tours.

Kline said his unit was close to Powell’s in 1968.

"My unit was a little bit north of his, but it’s a very sad day," said Kline.

Given Powell's decades of military service it's not just local Vietnam veterans remembering him. Another local veteran from a well-known mission in the 90's 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.

"He made you feel like you’re the most important guy and we say that all the time but this is one of those where we really mean it. I mean he’s a good gentle man and everybody knows his pedigree," said Eversmann.

When Powell retired, Eversmann said his Army unit sent the general a special gift from a raid overseas.

"Captured some weapons on a raid that we had done and we sent one of these AK-47s back to Washington for him as a retirement gift which I understand was welcomed readily by the general," said Eversmann.