A 20-year-old Alabama student received the gift of a lifetime after walking nearly 7-hours to make sure he wasn’t late for his first day of work.
— Pelham Police Dept (@PelhamPoliceAL) July 16, 2018
In a Facebook post that has since gone viral, Jenny Lamey explained that she and her husband had hired company Bellhops to assist them in their move last weekend. Around 6:30 a.m. local time on their moving day, Lamey said a police officer rang their door.
“He proceeded to tell us that he had picked up ‘this nice kid’ in Pelham early this morning,” wrote Lamey. ” ‘This 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.”
Walter Carr’s 2003 Nissan had broken down the night before his first day, according to USA Today. After being unable to find a backup option, Carr decided to walk, leaving Homewood to head toward Lamey’s home in Pelham — 20 miles away — around midnight, the outlet reported.
“I wanted to beat the crew members there to let the company know how dedicated I am,” Carr told USA Today.
Around 4 a.m., after Carr had already walked 14 miles, police officers stopped him on the side of the road, USA Today reported. When he told recounted his story — “It’s going to sound real crazy, but I’m actually headed to work!” he recalled to the outlet — the officers took him to breakfast.
The officers dropped him off at a nearby church so he could rest before starting the last four miles of his trek. Before he could get too far, another officer — who had heard about Carr — gave him a ride to his final destination, USA Today reported.
Lamey wrote that Carr refused to rest before getting to work, and eventually divulged some of his backstory to her. Carr was a Marine, and had lost his home in Hurricane Katrina, relocating to Alabama with his mother after the disaster.
Awed by his dedication, Lamey started a GoFundMe to raise money for Carr to get a new vehicle, and posted the Facebook message. “He’s such a humble, kindhearted person,” she told the Washington Post. “He’s really incredible. He said it was the way he was raised. Nothing is impossible unless you say it’s impossible.”
Soon, Bellhops CEO Luke Marklin got wind of Carr’s story, writing on Twitter, “I’m really proud to be on the same team as Walter … Look forward to thanking him in person this week.”
Marklin met Carr on Monday, and surprised him with a special thank you gift: his own Ford. In video of the moment, Marklin told an emotional Carr, “I couldn’t think of a better way to part ways with this and put it to better use.”
“It was wonderful to get to know him,” Marklin told USA Today. “His resolve to get through challenges is just something that legends are made of… I don’t think Walter… was ever going to let not having a car get him down.”
When asked about the reaction to his journey, Carr told the outlet he “couldn’t believe it. I didn’t think that 20-mile walk would mean anything to anybody.”
Even though the journey was arduous, Carr has remained positive and determined. “My body was like, ‘What was you thinking?’” he told USA Today. “I had to get the job done.”
Check out the video below.