"I was really sorry to hear of Joe’s passing. The Viet Nam vets I referred to Joe were VERY selective as to who they would cooperate with. Many of them had pretty much given up on the VA and society in general, but he was able to reach those men, they just loved him. God rest his soul, he will be missed." ~ Susan Lewis, Asst. Veterans Service Officer, Travis Co. Veterans Services.
Words from His Beloved Veterans:
"He was a patient man. He understood. He was a great help. He was a man who wanted to help you. He would do his best to help. He will be deeply missed." ~ Rafelio
“To me, Joe was special. He had more influence than anyone in my life. He gave me back my self-respect. He wouldn’t let me give up. He was a soldier’s soldier. He knew his history. Joe always had a good joke, too.” ~ Tom
“Thank you for all you have done for us.” ~ Ron
“He was always there to help you understand what a person needed in help.” ~ Samuel
“Rest in Peace. You’re home now.” ~ Ron
“Joe, you were a great person. I will never, ever - forget you." ~ Manuel
“We will miss you, Joe, but we have wonderful memories we will carry with us.” ~ Clarence
"I never saw him as overbearing. He had a lot of patience with people. He would bend over backwards for vets. He was not judgmental." ~ Doug
“Joe, thank you for saving my life. If it hadn’t been for him pushing me to come to the group, I wouldn’t be here today. He made time for me which was something I needed. Joe loved the Buffalo Soldiers—on behalf of the Buffalo Soldiers, we thank you.” ~ James
"He experienced what the people went through and what they felt." ~ Roy
"I though a lot of Joe because he had been where we had been. Those top sergeants kept us alive (in Vietnam) and I felt that Joe did that here (Vet Center)." ~ David
“He always welcomed me to the Vet Center. He would always smile at me.”~ Raul
"When I first saw Joe, he was very committed to helping the vets. He said to me, 'Don't ever, ever give up.'
I am very appreciative for what he did for me." ~ Ruben
"The first time I saw him, he patted me on my shoulder and told me that I had done a good job dealing with my PTSD. That made me come back. He encouraged me." ~ Jose
"His presence was soothing. He was committed to one thing above all--the veteran. We have good memories of him." ~ Roman
"He would disregard his own pain to help us." ~ Lawrence
"Joe - He was one of us." ~ Tony
"Our sincere condolences to the Powell family, you, and the veterans of the Austin Vet Center. Please inform us of the services and wishes of the family. All are in our prayers. Since the family is here in the Killeen area please let us know if there is anything that we can do to assist them." ~ Lori A. Spencer, Office Manager, Kelleen Heights Vet Center.
Comments provided from various Vets’ Centers by those who served with and those served by Master Sergeant Joseph Vernon Powell.