Major Lemuel G. Brinkley, Jr. (US Army Retired)
September 30, 1937 - June 28, 2019 (age 81)
Lemuel “Brink” Brinkley, a devoted husband, father and patriot died June 28, 2019 after a brief battle with Metastatic Lung Cancer. Brink was predeceased by his wife of 48 years, Bette and his oldest son Lemuel G. Brinkley, III. He is survived by three children; Barrie Lyn Brinkley, Richard Lee Brinkley, and Brooke Ann (Brinkley) Powell. He also leaves behind four grandchildren; Sean Brinkley, Ariel Lyn Brinkley, Lemuel Guyder Brinkley, IV, Damara Brinkley Powell and his beloved dog Kane.
Brink made a career of the Army. He began his military service in the Arkansas National Guard. In 1957, he was part of the Guard contingent that was federalized by President Eisenhower to escort the Little Rock Nine into Central High after the Arkansas governor tried to use Arkansas National Guard troops to block black students from entering the school after segregation was abolished. After his Guard service, he chose to make military service his career; first as an enlisted member in the Infantry and then as an officer first serving in Army Special Forces (Green Berets) as an “A-Team” commander. However, before he assumed this command, he was selected to go to Aviation School where he became an Army Aviator where he earned instructor wings on the Army’s first all metal fixed-wing aircraft, the Cessna L-19D/O-1 “Birddog”. He spent the rest of his Army career in Military Intelligence.
He served two tours in Vietnam. On his second tour, he was tasked as a Forward Air Controller (FAC). Piloting the propeller-driven “Birddog” above hostile territory, often becoming a target in order to locate enemy locations. He was essential to air operations by providing intelligence reconnaissance, target acquisition, artillery adjustment, radio relay, convoy escort, and above all, the on-scene commander of the strike forces and the start of any subsequent combat search and rescue if necessary. He was awarded the Air Medal with 53 oak leaf clusters, in addition to two Bronze Stars.
In 1974, “Lem” as he was called by his fellow officers, became the first operational commander of the 330th ASA/RR Company. Here he was tasked as a Command Pilot flying reconnaissance missions utilizing the GUARDRAIL equipped U-21 reconnaissance aircraft in addition to commanding aviation and ground personnel at four sites throughout Germany.
Throughout his distinguished military career, Brink was awarded the Armed Forces Reserve Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Valorous Unit Award, Meritorious Unit Citation, 4 Overseas Service Bars, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Vietnam Service Medal and the Senior Army Aviator Badge.
Having served 22 years in the Army, he concluded his military career as an intelligence officer at the National Security Agency in Fort Meade, MD.
Upon retirement, he had a brief career in Ford and Chevrolet fleet sales before moving on to his final career of owning and operating an over-the-road trucking business contracting his truck fleet to Bekins Van Lines in transporting high-value tradeshow merchandise throughout the US and Canada before retiring in 2015.
A time of visitation will be held at Drinkwine Mortuary on Wednesday, July 3, 2019 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Casual dress is welcome and light refreshments will be provided. A burial at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia will follow at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, Brink requested donations be made to the Dumb Friends League, 2080 S. Quebec St., Denver, CO 80231, phone 303-751-5772, www.ddfl.org.
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