In Honor of Carl Delong

It's blog about Brett Kimberlin day.  Thanks, Lee Stranahan, for a great idea.

Brett took a great man from his family in the most grueling and tragic fashion.  It's easiest to understand Brett Kimberlin if one takes a good look at what he is capable of.  Carl Delong, a Vietnam veteran promoted to Major, was just thirty nine when Brett Kimberlin ripped his body apart with a bomb hidden in a gym bag.  His wife suffered an extremely painful severed artery. 

Pictured: Carl Delong as paramedics respond to the scene.

Photo Credit: Indystar.com.

Brett’s motivation seems to have been to distract from another crime.  Many, myself included, are convinced he murdered Julia Scyphers and set bombs to get away with that crime.  Brett's selfish reasons don’t change what the Delong family went through.

Even though Brett’s attacks on my friends have been recent, I can’t help but focus on Carl Delong today.  He deserves to be remembered and respected.  Carl Delong loved his family, but the physical and emotional pain he suffered led him to alcohol, outbursts, and regrets.  You can tell he tried as hard as he could, but the suffering he endured won the fight.  He wasn’t asking for much out of life.  He wanted to raise his kids and love his wife.  Brett stole so much from his family.

After learning he was going to lose his remaining leg, and after many surgeries and complications, Carl committed suicide by carbon monoxide, ending the misery.  In the ensuing wrongful death suit, Brett petitioned to have pain and suffering kept out of the discussion.  He doesn't get to do the same here.  Many are discussing his lawfare.  I want to focus on Carl.

Carl David Delong's last thoughts were in letters to his family.  He went by the name David to his closest.   Read his love for his wife and children and learn about how fatherhood remained when everything else was gone:

I am going to write several things that may not make sense. But I'm trying to do my best, whatever you think of me or don't think of me. I want you to know that I do love you. I love DeDe Steve Eddy & Melissa very much. This sounds like an easy way out but it's not.
I have done you so many misjudgement' and I don't know how else to set it straight. Don't think of me too bad, because I am not all that tough or bad. Sometimes people that live together take each other for granted. I guess that's the way I have been doing to you. I don't have any real explanation for my actions and I don't expect you to understand them. Please try to love me a little.

Love you  David
You have been a wonderful wife and Mother and I know I don't deserve you and you sure didn't deserve me. 


Carl wanted his wife, Sandra Delong, to know he was sorry if he made her feel taken for granted.  I can only imagine how difficult it was for the physically-fit Carl to lose so much function and then rely on his wife to care for him.  At the same time, he was battling resentment and anger over his injuries and Brett's ability to elude responsibility.  Carl wanted to make sure she knew he appreciated her taking the burden.  He wanted her to love him in spite of his failings, which I am sure were quite human.  When we fail, it’s often those closest that we take it out on.    
Brett stole so much from Sandra, but he also stole from Carl assurance that he was loved.  Carl was a man who consistently took responsibility, even when it would have been reasonable to pass responsibility entirely to Brett (which I encourage everyone to do).

One day your Mom and Grand Ma will tell you about me. I hope that when you grow older your Mom and Dad will read this to you. Melissa I love you like I do some little blonde headed girl that your Grand Mother and I knew when she was little, your Mother.
 Your Grand Pa
Carl’s granddaughter who he never got to see grow up.  All he wanted to send her was love.
Take care of DeDe and Melissa, just use your common sense and you will be allright. Take care Ed.
Eddy was Carl’s son in law.  His last thoughts were encouragement and a request that his beloved daughter and granddaughter be looked after.  Carl’s last thoughts were selfless.  Fatherhood is defined, to me, as lifting others into a position of responsibility.  I think Carl would have agreed, but he may add how he emphasized love.

I know what you think of me, and I am sorry for that. Don't ever cut your self short. Take care of Melissa and every now and then give Eddy a prod not too hard, but gently. DeDe I'm sorry everything turned out this way. I really and truly did not want it to. In one way or another just try to love me a little.
I will always be your

Again Carl’s need to be loved is tragic and moving.  Brett stole so much from this man.  Carl was sorry to his daughter for his inability to cope with suffering few of us could cope with any better than he did.

Just want you to understand son. I don't know what to really say except, Steve I am very proud of you and I hope you never make the mistakes that your Dad has. Forgive me please Steve, take care of your Mother she needs you very much.
Love Ya,
P.S. Keep on with your band one of these days you will make it.

Carl shows that essential skill of fatherhood in encouraging his son while giving his son responsibility.  Carl’s last thought was that his wife, Sandra, be looked after.  I can only imagine how Carl felt.  He was unable to take care of his family anymore.  There were so many expenses and so much difficulty caring for him, and he had news that he was going to lose his remaining leg.  Constant painful and expensive surgery to remove shrapnel from Brett Kimberlin’s bomb plagued Carl until his death.

Carl Delong, I honor you for your selfless service to our country, and much more I honor you for your love of your family who I am sure loves you still today.