VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – Don Cale is surrounded by memorabilia of his brother Jerry Cale, including his achievements in his 27-year career with the Virginia Beach Police Department.
“Investigations, warrant for fugitive units, internal affairs, different crime units, robbery, homicide,” said Don Cale as he pointed to a framed plaque listing his brother’s different roles on the force.
After retirement, Jerry Cale continued his commitment to helping people by opening Beach Security and Investigations, his private investigation business in Virginia Beach.
“There was a hole that he saw being a police officer that he couldn't do beyond what his normal duties would be,” Don Cale said.
Last week, Don packed up some of the memories as he prepared to say goodbye to his brother.
Jerry Cale lost his battle with COVID-19 on July 4 after spending two weeks in the hospital and on a ventilator in his final moments.
“It was really scary because he was alone,” said Don. “I mean, he went on dialysis the last day, and it was just... they tell the dialysis helped. Now, we're starting to have an improvement and then they literally said there's nothing else they can do. It's in God's hands.”
The father of four was 58 years old and unvaccinated.
“It was very aggressive, and it was attacking the lungs, more than anything else,” said Don.
Don said doctors believe Jerry had the Delta variant, which health experts say is more contagious and deadly.
“The biggest sadness for the family was not to be able to visit somebody that's going through this or even communicate,” said Don. “It was really hard.”
As the Delta variant quickly gains ground across the country and cases continue to rise, the family is making a desperate plea to those who aren’t vaccinated.
“The chances of having an adverse reaction to the vaccination has a lower percentage rate that you would have an adverse reaction to the vaccination to the chances of catching COVID and going through what we did,” Don said.
As the family begins to heal, they said Jerry’s commitment to the community will live on.
“Even with him passing away, this business is going to continue on with in his legacy,” said Don. “We’ll still do the things he set in motion.”