If I was to take a piece of blank paper, the paper would represent all that is possible, it would represent perfection because man has not blemished it. If you were then to take a pencil and write the title of HERO at the top of the paper and leave the rest of the paper blank, that would be the true definition of what kind of hero Colin Powell is. You see, when man tries to define something, man unconciously leaves out many possibilities of what that definition could be. By leaving the paper blank, we open our minds, our imaginations, our souls to every possible and potential definition as to what a hero truly is, yet we do not restrict it to just those terms. Perhaps to a child the definition of a hero is different than that of an 80 year old man. To a Christian, the definition of a hero is different than that of a Muslim. To restrict definition of the word hero to anything would be to exclude the potential of what is left out and I do not think we would wish to do that. Whether you agree or disagree with Powell's asessment of John McCain and Barack Obama, you cannot exclude Mr. Powell's service to this country. According to Wikipedia: While at City College, Powell joined the Reserve Officers' Training Corps and later described it as one of the happiest experiences of his life: finding something he loved and could do well, he had "found himself." Cadet Powell joined the Pershing Rifles, the ROTC fraternal organization and drill team started by Gen. John Pershing. Even after Powell became a General, he still kept on his desk a pen set he had won for a drill team competition. After graduating from City College in June 1958, he was granted a commission as an Army Second Lieutenant. Powell was a professional soldier for 35 years, during which time he held a variety of command and staff positions and rose to the rank of General. While serving with the Third Armored Division in Germany as a Lieutenant, he met Elvis Presley, then serving in that unit. During the Vietnam War, Powell was a captain, serving as a South Vietnamese Army advisor from 1962 to 1963. While on patrol in a Viet Cong-held area, he was wounded after stepping on a punji stake trap. He returned to Vietnam as a major from 1968 to 1970, where he first served as the executive officer for the Americal Division (23rd Infantry Division), then as the assistant chief of staff of operations for the Americal Division. In that post, he was charged with investigating a detailed letter by Tom Glen (a soldier from the 11th Light Infantry Brigade), which backed up rumored allegations of the My Lai Massacre. Powell wrote: "In direct refutation of this portrayal is the fact that relations between American soldiers and the Vietnamese people are excellent." Later, Powell's assessment would be described as Whitewashing the news of the massacre, and questions would continue to remain undisclosed to the public. In May 2004 Powell said to Larry King, "I mean, I was in a unit that was responsible for My Lai. I got there after My Lai happened. So, in war, these sorts of horrible things happen every now and again, but they are still to be deplored." Powell obtained an MBA from George Washington University in 1971 and then served a White House fellowship under President Richard Nixon. In his autobiography My American Journey, Powell mentioned several officers he served under that inspired and mentored him. As a Lieutenant Colonel serving in South Korea, for example, Powell was very close to General Henry "Gunfighter" Emerson. Powell said he regarded this man as one of the most caring officers he ever served under. Emerson reputedly had a somewhat eccentric personality. For example, he insisted his troops train only at night and made them repeatedly watch the television film Brian's Song to promote racial harmony. Powell always professed, however, that what set Emerson apart was his great love of his soldiers and concern for their welfare. In the early 1980s, Powell served at Fort Carson, Colorado. It was there that he had a major clash with General John W. Hudachek, his commander. Hudachek said in an efficiency evaluation that Powell was a poor leader who should not be promoted. Powell's rising military career was unhindered by Hudachek's evaluation report. After he left Fort Carson, Powell became senior military assistant to Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger, whom he assisted during the 1983 invasion of Grenada and the 1986 airstrike on Libya. In 1986, he took over the command of V Corps in Frankfurt, Germany, from Robert Lewis "Sam" Wetzel. In 1989, prior to being named Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Powell served as the Commander in Chief, Forces Command headquartered at Fort McPherson, Georgia. Dates of rank Second Lieutenant: June 9, 1958 First Lieutenant: December 30, 1959 Captain: June 2, 1962 Major: May 24, 1966 Lieutenant Colonel: July 9, 1970 Colonel: February 1, 1976 Brigadier General: June 1, 1979 Major General: August 1, 1983 Lieutenant General: March 26, 1986 General: April 4, 1989 Awards and decorations Badges Combat Infantryman Badge Expert Infantryman Badge Ranger Tab Parachutist Badge Pathfinder Badge Air Assault Badge Presidential Service Badge Secretary of Defense Identification Badge Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badge Army Staff Identification Badge Military medals and ribbons Defense Distinguished Service Medal (with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters) Distinguished Service Medal, Army (with Oak Leaf Cluster) Defense Superior Service Medal Legion of Merit (with Oak Leaf Cluster) Soldier's Medal Bronze Star Purple Heart Air Medal Joint Service Commendation Medal Army Commendation Medal (with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters) Presidential Medal of Freedom (order of precedence, if worn) no image Presidential Citizens Medal (order of precedence, if worn) National Defense Service Medal (with 1 Bronze Service Star) Vietnam Service Medal (with 1 Silver Service Star) Army Service Ribbon Army Overseas Service Ribbon (with numeral 3) Foreign decorations Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal Honorary Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath (KCB) (United Kingdom) Légion d'honneur (France) Meritorious Service Cross (M.S.C.) (Canada) Order of Stara Planina in the First Order (Bulgaria) At the age of 49, Powell became Ronald Reagan's National Security Advisor, serving from 1987 to 1989. He retained his Army commission (he was a Lieutenant General at the time of his nomination) while serving as National Security Advisor. After his tenure with the NSC, Powell was promoted to 4-star General under President George H.W. Bush and served as Commander-in-Chief (CINC) of the United States Army's Forces Command (FORSCOM), overseeing all Army, Army Reserve, and National Guard units in the Continental U.S., Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico. If by somehow, some way someone on this message board has anyone who has the remote chance of contacting Mr Powell and thanking him for his service to this country, please do so.