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Tommy Thompson, Wis. Democrats remember Colin Powell

A veteran of the Vietnam War, Powell spent 35 years in the Army and rose to the rank of four-star general before becoming the first Black chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Published: Oct. 18, 2021 at 8:02 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - UW System President and former Wisconsin governor Tommy Thompson is remembering Colin Powell Monday, who served with him under former President George W. Bush. Powell died Monday from complications of COVID-19.

“He’s got a beautiful family,” said Thompson. “He was a family man first, a patriot he loved the United States. He was a soldier’s soldier and I always loved talking to him.”

The former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services spoke of how he worked with Powell on creating a Global Fund in 2002 to provide treatments for those in nations suffering from AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.

“We took the idea to President Bush, and with General Powell’s advocacy, we helped make this idea from Kofi Annan of the U.N. a reality,” Thompson stated. “The Global Fund partnership has since saved 44 million lives. The country could always count on General Powell, and I was witness to his extraordinary leadership.”

A veteran of the Vietnam War, Powell spent 35 years in the Army and rose to the rank of four-star general before becoming the first Black chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He joined President George W. Bush’s administration in 2001 as secretary of state, the first Black person to represent the U.S. government on the world stage.

Democratic Wisconsin Sen. Tammy Baldwin gave her condolences to Powell’s family in a statement on Twitter Monday.

“Colin Powell committed his life’s work to serving our country, public service, and advancing our common good,” she stated.

Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI 3rd District) also shared his sympathies, describing Powell as a “dedicated public servant and patriot.”

“He leaves behind a legacy of integrity and honor that will no doubt inspire generations to come,” Kind said. “My thoughts and prayers are with his loved ones today.”

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