The Ultimate Sacrifice: Coping with line-of-duty death

Two men stood out from the crowd of mourners Wednesday who came to pay their respects to Captain Long. 

FOX 46 Charlotte spoke with Long's father and another who knows what it's like to lose a child in the line of duty. 

"The public never understands the brotherhood of a fire service," said Jerry Long, Bradley's dad. 

Speaking through his tears, Bradley Long's father Jerry talked about the camaraderie shared by firefighters. 

"I visited our local fire department this morning. Those guys, not just from Catawba County, from all over the State of North Carolina here to honor their fallen brother," Jerry said. 

One of those guys is Bob Benfield. 

"It uhhh...it hits home. My son was killed in the line of duty as a firemen in 2012," Benfield said. 

Benfield's son Caleb was a member of Bethlehem Fire & Rescue when he died in a motorcycle crash on his way back to work. 

Benfield said grappling with Caleb's death never gets any easier. But standing with his brothers helps. 

"To stand for him....to continue on...and we'll take it from here," Benfield said. 

And by 'we' he means them all, including Jerry, who before leaving to retrieve his son's body had this word of advice for parents far and wide. 

"Take your children by the fire departments and thank the real heroes of this world," he said. 

Up Next:


  • Popular

  • Recent

Stories you may be interested in -- includes Advertiser Stories