Walt Brinker has provided well over 2,000 free-of-charge roadside assists as a hobby. His hobby has been featured in a local magazine article and two newspapers: The Houston Chronicle, and The Fayetteville Observer, which runs his monthly vignettes describing actual assists and how readers can avoid such situations. He wrote this short book after deciding it was time to try to empower as many others as possible to avoid vehicle breakdowns and becoming stranded.
He graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, in 1966 with a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering, and was commissioned in the U.S. Army as an infantry second lieutenant. His Army career included two combat tours in Vietnam, tactics instructor at the US Army Infantry School, troop duty in Germany and the US, Command and General Staff College, and a tour at the Pentagon on the Army Staff, working to field the Bradley Fighting Vehicle and modernize the Army’s infantry battalions.
He retired from the Army as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1990. Military awards include Silver Star, two Bronze Stars for valor, two Bronze Stars for service, Purple Heart, Combat Infantryman Badge, Ranger Tab, Airborne wings, Army Staff Identification Badge, and two awards of the Legion of Merit.
In 1971, Walt married Betsy, now an accomplished designer and fabricator of costumes for mascots of professional sports teams. He and Betsy have five children and eight grandchildren. One son is a software code developer in Boston. Three other sons serve in the U.S. Army on active duty with aviation and Special Forces units. His daughter is a certified financial planner in Fayetteville, North Carolina.
After retiring from the Army, he settled in Katy, Texas, working in management positions for two security companies, and as a project controls engineer for a large engineering and construction company. In 2010 he moved to Eastover, North Carolina, to live near grandchildren, and worked until July 2012 as a project manager in nearby Fayetteville.