Corey Ray might be the best-known name in Madison Central sports.
The longtime law enforcement officer, assigned to Madison Central as a school resource officer, is the school’s biggest fan. And frankly, those kids are his biggest fans too.
As he was escorted home by fellow law enforcement officers on Tuesday after a long hospitalization that cost him his legs and some fingers, a group of students gathered on the side of the road, cheering and taking video of the procession. When he arrived at the house, he was greeted by family, friends, and law enforcement so that he can begin the next phase of his recovery.
Ray was admitted to the ICU in late October with severe complications from Crohn’s Disease, which he’d battled for quite some time. That began a fight Corey had to face by himself on one level, but behind him was an army of supporters. There were ups and downs, all detailed by his family and friends on the Facebook page they built so everyone could keep up with his progress. And yes, there were prayers. So many prayers for Corey Ray.
Ray was taken from the ambulance into his home to the cheers and clapping of those who love him most on Tuesday. Over the cheering, he could be heard saying, “Thank y’all.” He’s a humble guy, known by all for his earnest concern and care for everyone besides himself.
Ray has worked for Madison Central for more than a decade, at one time serving as a PA announcer for baseball. The athletic teams, as well as area law enforcement, have used his badge number — 408 — as something to rally behind. Banners at football games after his admittance to the hospital stated “We love Corey Ray.”
The support has extended beyond just the school and his brothers and sisters in blue. In April, Ray was given the distinction of becoming an honorary soldier in the Mississippi National Guard on the basis of his career of protecting and serving and his demonstration of Army values and “warrior ethos.”
Corey’s mother Karen Golden posted in the Facebook group Tuesday night to let his remote friends know he was out of the hospital.
“We had lots of neighbors and friends come visit today. A lot of folks have missed seeing Corey. It’s so good to have him back home,” she wrote.
SEE VIDEO OF COREY RAY’S HONORARY INDUCTION INTO THE MISSISSIPPI ARMY NATIONAL GUARD: