After heart attack, 73-year-old dedicated life to keeping kids safe

By Stephanie Bechara, Reporter
Last Updated: Friday, August 11, 2017, 6:09 PM EDT

Martin Luther King Boulevard and Thacker Avenue in Kissimmee is a busy intersection. Just ask 73-year-old crossing guard Harvey Witt.

“There's no such thing as 30 mph here,” Witt said. “We have to watch the cars, because they don't watch us.”

Witt went from the Navy to corrections officer to wearing yellow in the streets of Kissimmee. For him, his job is much more than holding up a stop sign and blowing a whistle.

“I want to keep those kids safe,” he said. “We’re only here for an hour and a half, and we want to protect our children while we’re here.”

Witt is not your typical crossing guard: He offers handshakes, fist bumps, high fives — you name it.

His colleague Rebecca Mueller, another school crossing guard at the same intersection, said, “He waves to everybody. I even tried to count how many times he waves, and I lost count, because it's everybody.”

His energy is infectious. Witt is at his post with a smile and a wave, rain or shine, Monday through Friday.

“Give them a smile. They may not get another smile all day long, so we give them a smile,” Witt said.

Kids know him by name and look forward to seeing him. Angela Reedy, who drops off her granddaughter at school every day said, “Everybody that drives by just absolutely loves him. There's not one person that he doesn't miss waving to.”

Witt says a heart attack changed his outlook on life.

Now, guarding children is his reason for living.

“It's your reason to get up. That’s why I want to do this job,” Witt added.