Walter Carr set out at midnight from his home in Homewood, Alabama to a suburb – Pelham – some 20 miles away. It was a seven-hour walk through thick grass on the side of a highway.
His own car packed up the night before he was to start working for Bellhops Moving Company.
Cops who saw him resting on the ground heard his story when they decided to check him out. They bought him breakfast, packed him lunch, and gave him a ride to a residence where his company was doing a moving job.
And his impressed boss, Luke Marklin, CEO of Bellhops Moving Company, gave him his personal car as a reward for resolve and diligence.
His story has gone viral on social media. A woman for whom he was doing some moving that morning told the story in a post shared over 1,000 times.
Jenny Lamey was planning to move that day. She did not expect a cop to knock on the door to introduce the young man and relay his story.
“Yesterday was a long day. But a good day. Chris and I woke up around 5:45am to get everything staged and ready for the movers. Around 6:30am the doorbell rang. It was a police officer,” said Lamey in a Facebook post.
“He proceeded to tell us that he had picked up “this nice kid” in Pelham early this morning. “The nice kid”, Walter, said that he was supposed to help us with our move today. It was his first day on the job with this moving company (Bellhops) and he was “training” today. The officer proceeded to tell us that the previous evening Walter’s car broke down and he didn’t know how he was going to get to work. So he left Homewood at MIDNIGHT and started WALKING to Pelham on 280.”
“He WALKED ALL NIGHT to get from Homewood to Pelham. Because he needed to get to work. For those reading this that are not local, that’s over 20 Miles. You could tell how the officer told us this story that he had complete admiration for Walter and by my reaction he could tell I did too.”
“The police officer said they picked him up earlier that morning, took him to get some breakfast and once they checked his story out, brought Walter to our house. We introduced ourselves to Walter and told the officer he was just fine to stay here with us until the rest of the crew arrived.
“I asked Walter if he wanted to go upstairs and rest until everyone else arrived. He declined and said he could go ahead and get started. So he began working alongside Chris and I before the rest of the crew arrived.”
“He was from New Orleans. He and his mother lost their home in Hurricane Katrina and they came and made their home in Birmingham. I asked him if he was tired from all that walking and he said replied that he wasn’t and that he had a 4 hour nap before he left at midnight,” Lamey said.
“He said he made it to Hoover around 2am and then to Pelham around 4am, that’s about when the officer picked him up and took him to get breakfast. He wore black Nike joggers which he commented that he intentionally wore because he knew he had to walk thru some pretty high grass on his middle-of-the-night trek.
“He looked at me in the eye and smiled and I felt like I had known him much longer. He was a Marine. I didn’t get anymore of the story. The rest of the crew arrived and then the craziness started. All of the young men that came to move us yesterday (9 in total) were some of the best young men I have met. Several of them were in college, engineering majors (you should have seen them putting together our beds!!),
“I just can’t tell you how touched I was by Walter and his journey. He is humble and kind and cheerful and he had big dreams! He is hardworking and tough. I can’t imagine how many times on that lonely walk down 280 in the middle of the night did he want to turn back. How many times did he wonder if this was the best idea. How many times did he want to find a place to sit or lie down and wait til morning when he could maybe get someone to come pick him up and bring him back home. But he walked until he got here! I am in total awe of this young man!”
His boss heard the story. He decided Walter deserved a car. The CEO gave him his personal SUV as a gift.
As for Pelham police, they couldn’t say enough good things about the young man they’d checked out at 4 a.m. resting on the ground after his long walk.
With a hashtag #BeLikeWalter they exclaimed: “Proud to have encountered this young man. He certainly made an impact on us,”