By Terry Rogers
In October, Atwood Tucker, a popular greeter at Milford Walmart, ended his 4 to 11 shift at Walmart. He picked up a few things after work and was pushing a shopping cart across the parking lot after leaving work.
“I saw one car and let it go then stepped out into the parking lot,” Tucker said. “I never saw the pickup and he said he never saw me. Initially, they thought he hit my shopping cart, but the Walmart video showed that he actually hit me, knocking me down. I had 14 broken ribs and a bruised lung.” After a long recovery, Mr. Tucker returned to his job as a greeter on Monday, February 20 having been released by his doctor to work days.
Mr. Tucker’s injuries were difficult and he also developed anxiety after the accident which led him to be unable to sleep. He said that he was very fortunate that he was not hurt worse and that he believed God was watching out for him
“I love my job and I love Walmart,” Tucker said. “My co-workers were so wonderful. While I was in the hospital, I got four or five cards a day from them, wishing me well. We went to Walmart shopping the other day and it took us an hour because customers kept stopping to let me know how glad they were I was coming back to work. I am so blessed and so grateful for everything.”
Mr. Tucker is well-known in Milford for his exuberance in welcoming shoppers to Walmart. He has been a greeter at the store for three years and strives to welcome every shopper who comes through the door. Children like to give him hugs and he puts a smile on the face of many as he enthusiastically greets them.
“Not long after I started working there, three young men came in, not dressed the best,” Tucker said. “I welcomed them like I always do and said ‘you gentlemen have a great day.’ Today, they come up, shake my hand and show me respect just because I treated them kindly. My mother taught me to treat everyone the way I want to be treated and that is what I do.”
Immediately after his accident, Tucker’s granddaughter Lacey Moffett set up a GoFundMe account to raise $1,500 to help Tucker and his wife, Mary, with expenses since he would be out of work for some time and the couple lives on a fixed income. Over 300 people donated to the fund, raising a total of $10,145.
“Walmart took care of all my medical bills, but losing the income was tough,” Tucker said. “It was overwhelming how much support I got from everyone while I was out.” Mr. Tucker has been working three days per week over the past month. He said he called his doctor and asked if he could go back to work. The doctor allowed him to return on Monday as long as he worked days.
Tucker retired after driving a beer truck and then went to work for Jerry’s Paving for 18 years. He also worked taking care of horses for a time. He took the job at Walmart just to get out of the house and to have something to do. “I am truly blessed,” Tucker said. “I cannot believe how nice and kind everyone has been during my recuperation. I cannot thank people enough for what they have done for me. I am looking forward to welcoming people to Walmart again. I hope my greeting them helps make someone’s day better.”
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