Ray Bowman

The Fort Oglethorpe Police Department and the community are reaching out to help Lt. Ray Bowman, who is battling cancer.

Police officers are people who tend to rally around each other when the going gets tough. That has been the case with the Fort Oglethorpe Police Department and one of its own, Lt. Ray Bowman, who is suffering from pancreatic cancer.

As the holiday season approached, Detective Tammy Davis thought it would be nice to try to raise some money to help the Bowman family with Christmas. "Usually Ray would have been working several extra, off-duty jobs earning his family's Christmas money," says Chief Mike Helton, "but his health did not allow it this year."

The effort to help expanded beyond the police department because officers felt the public would care enough to get involved, too. Davis set up a donation page online with a specific funding goal, and the belief that the community would care has proved true. "Some people have expressed an interest in continuing to help," says Helton, "because they understand that Ray’s medical expenses are just beginning."

Officer Brad Palmer posted on the police department’s Facebook page: "We are so happy to say that we have not only met our $2,000.00 goal but we've exceeded it! There has been such an outpouring of love, kindness and generosity for this family that it has touched all of us here at Fort Oglethorpe Police Department and we are so thankful for you all! Without all of you we could never have reached this goal! We would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and thank you for your love and support!"

Palmer closed with this quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson: "The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well."

If you would like to donate (and to see how the community has reached out to the Bowman family), visit youcaring.com/raybowman-1028344. Donations are being accepted at this site through Christmas day.