INDIANOLA, Iowa -- He served as a fixture of the Clive Police Department for nearly four decades, and now the community is rallying behind former Lieutenant Gary Walker. Walker retired in 2010, but he went back to work battling a cancer doctors say cannot be cured.
The American Legion Post 165 was packed full Sunday to back the blue. "When an officer is down, we stand up for them," says Michelle Coleman. It's a feeling she knows all too well. The Clive Police Department rallied behind her family when in need, and now she is doing the same.
"I can't see any other way of doing it. They are just an extension of family in our home, and we just show up for one another," Coleman says.
Members of the department threw a barbecue fundraiser to help ease the financial burden for treatments and for Walker to take his mind off his sickness. A large crowd showed up to the event. He is in the fight for his life. Walker was diagnosed this fall with stage four lung cancer.
"It just feels like you are asking for stuff. I don`t ask. I try to do it all on my own. Its different," Walker says.
His love for community service and his brothers in blue stretches far and wide. Walker was known for helping rookies when they joined the force.
"Gary was one of the first persons that I met there and then we became friends. He's a wonderful guy. He's taken care of me all these years and you know what, it's my turn to repay him," says Clive Sergeant Vern Lukehart.
The organization Cops Against Cancer helped host the event. It also donated money to help the family pay off medical bills.