It’s actually security officer Walter Jackson’s birthday today. But he’s coy about how old he is.
“Somewhere older than 45 but younger than 55. You be the judge,” he’s telling people.
Walter is a much beloved security officer at Baystate Medical Center, who endears himself to staff and visitors in many ways.
How he brings joy
When at Baystate’s corporate headquarters at 280 Chestnut St., Walter spreads out little chocolates at the front of the security desk for all to enjoy.
“Eating chocolate releases endorphins into the brain that help to make our spirits brighter,” he says.
When stationed at Baystate Mason Square Neighborhood Health Center in February this year, Walter bought two large pizzas for staff to celebrate Valentine's Day. Then, in May, he bought two large pizzas for staff at Baystate Brightwood Health Center to celebrate Mother’s Day.
I want people to see the kinder side of security officers….that we’re not just about maintaining order….that we also have heart,” says Walter.
Walter has been a security officer at Baystate Medical Center for 10 years, since retiring as a correctional officer at what is now referred to as the Osborn Correctional Institution in Somers, CT, where he worked for 23 years. He followed in his father’s footsteps after spending seven years as a medic in the Reserves – his father was also a correctional officer there – first working in the mailroom and getting to know staff and the inmates before training and taking and passing the exam to become a correctional officer.
Love, live and laugh
Walter is true to his philosophy on life.
“You must love what you do, enjoy life, and laugh. It’s okay to laugh sometimes. We get so caught up in the intricacies of life that we sometimes forget to love, live and laugh,” says Walter.
A proud father who has shared his life’s philosophy with his kids, Walter says as 2017 draws closer, he is looking forward to his youngest son, Isaiah, graduating from Chicopee High School, where he plays football and basketball. His oldest, Jovan, is a sophomore at Coastal Carolina University, where he plays basketball.
Happy Birthday Walter; however old you are!