Letters to the Editor

December 28, 2008

In his own words, Don Currier's life

Editor's note: Donald Currier, for many years a columnist for The Herald-Mail, passed away recently. Currier was fastidious about his work, asking that the titles he submitted be used as headlines. In that same spirit, he wrote his own obituary, which his family asked that The Herald-Mail publish. Because of his many years of service, we are granting that request.

Donald R. Currier, Lt. Col. USAF (Ret), died on Dec. 17. He was 87.

He leaves behind his beloved wife of 65 years, Helen, three children, David, Nancy, and Susan, five grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

Col. Currier was born in Brockton, Mass., on Oct. 7, 1921, the son of Frank and Isabel Currier. Commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant in the Army Air Corps in 1943, he was assigned to the 15th AF as a B-24 navigator in World War II, completing a 50-mission combat tour at the height of the air war in Europe.


Currier returned to civilian life after the war but was recalled to active duty during the Korean conflict and assigned to the newly organized Air Research and Development Command headquarters in Baltimore, Md.

He continued to serve in various R&D organizations of the Air Force at all levels from center to command headquarters to the Air Staff at the Pentagon until his retirement from the military in 1969.

Col. Currier and his wife then owned and operated Raven Rock Campground near Smithsburg, Md., for 12 years. He also was a tenured professor of Business & Finance at Mount St. Mary's College in Emmitsburg, MD retiring from the college after 14 years.

Col. Currier received his B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering at Northeastern University, an MBA degree in Research and Development Management from the University of Chicago and, as an Air Force officer, was selected to attend the prestigious Air War College in Montgomery, Ala.

Col. Currier was a lifelong member of the St. George Lodge AF & AM, Brockton, MA, treasurer of the Smithsburg Emergency Medical Service for 11 years, past president of the Catoctin Mountain Tourist Council, the Maryland Campground Association and the Pen-Mar Chapter TROA.

He was the author of a book, "50 Mission Crush," and a contributing columnist to The Herald-Mail newspaper.

Weibel was a bridge between two faiths

To the editor:

Your lead headline on the front page of the Dec. 26 edition should have read "Synagogue and church lose 'marvelous worker'" instead of "Local synagogue loses 'marvelous worker'.

Dolores Weibel was most assuredly a marvelous worker at Congregation B'nai Abraham but also she was a marvelous member and volunteer worker at St. John's Episcopal Parish.

Dolores abundantly enhanced the life of both congregations.

Despite the tragedy of her untimely death, what an added human interest narrative that would have made to have chronicled the story of how this marvelous woman provided a bridge between our Jewish and our Christian communities.

Bill Soulis

Be careful when adding an animal to the family

To the editor:

It's that time of year again. Some kids woke up to a Christmas present of a new pet. In addition, it's that time of year when animal rescue groups are besieged by people returning unwanted pets when they become too busy or cannot afford to take care of them properly or when the animal suddenly starts having behavior problems. In every case, the burden is placed on the animal, e.g., it did this or it didn't do that. Few people are willing to admit that they got in over their heads, did not think through what adopting or buying an animal really means (the amount of work and training it involves), did not understand animal behavior sufficiently to train properly and/or did not have the patience to do the work to have the animal fit into the home.

People who work in animal rescue hear all the excuses and know that in 99 percent of these cases, it was the failure of the adopter to take responsibility for the animal they promised to care for. It's easy to blame the animal or the rescue group for their own shortcomings. Many people who return pets have unrealistic expectations of the pet and are too quick to throw away what doesn't work for them. They are basically too lazy to put the effort into doing the right thing. These people would never expect from themselves what they expect from an animal. Animals are feeling creatures. They come back to rescue organizations confused and mourning the loss of their families.

Sometimes it takes a greater effort to get these animals re-homed because of the insecurities that arise out of losing the families they have bonded with (or the damage done by improper training).

In addition, people do not think about the example they are teaching their children - that it's OK to get rid of an animal rather than to take responsibility for it once it's in the home. Sadly, for many animals, this lesson will carry on through to the next generation of people.

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