Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Marine Pfc. Eric D. Currier

Remember Our Heroes

Marine Pfc. Eric D. Currier, 21, of Londonderry, N.H.

Pfc. Currier was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.; died Feb. 17, 2010 while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.

The news sent shock waves through the community. By the end of the day yesterday, more than 700 people, including friends and family members, had linked to a tribute page in Eric Currier's honor on Facebook open to the general public. The site listed Currier as a "Brother, Son, Nephew, Husband, Grandson, Friend, Family, a MARINE."

Eric Currier was one of 29 students that graduated from the Londonderry High School Adult Education Program in June of 2007. He was one of four in that class that enlisted in the Military.

Eric’s Brother Brent is in the army stationed in Hawaii, he was also a graduate of the Londonderry Adult Ed program in 2008. WMUR interviewed Brent and one of their History Teachers Joe Nalezinki at the high school today.

Cars belonging to friends and family could be seen lining the front driveway of the 13 Peabody Row home of Currier's parents, Kevin and Helen Boudreau. Saying he wanted to ensure family privacy during a difficult time, Brent Currier met members of the media and strangers outside in the driveway to ask all to keep a respectful distance. Brent Currier declined to discuss any specifics about what happened, but said he was extremely proud his brother had the opportunity to serve as a Marine.
"He was a Marine. I don't want anyone to confuse that with anything else," Brent Currier said. "I'm in the Army, and even I admit it is different. Better."

Eric Currier was a 2006 graduate of Londonderry High School's Adult Education Program, a night-school program designed to help students complete their high school education. Londonderry High School Principal Jason Parent was head of the program when Eric was a student.

Special bonds form between teachers and parents in the after-school program, Parent said, because often the students who are enrolled put in extra effort and study time to attain their diploma.

Parent said he continued to follow Eric's progress after he had graduated.

"Our teachers got to know Eric very well through the program," Parent said. "He wanted to be a U.S. Marine even then, and we were all very proud of what he had accomplished."

Gov. John Lynch and Congressmen Paul Hodes and Carol Shea-Porter all released statements regarding the loss, saying their prayers were with the family.

"My thoughts and prayers and those of my wife, Susan, are with the family of Marine Pfc. Eric Currier," Lynch said. "Pfc. Currier served our nation with courage and honor, and he sacrificed protecting all of us. On behalf of the citizens of New Hampshire, our deepest sympathies go out to the Currier family."

Brent Currier said his family was planning to keep funeral services closed to the public and although the sympathies offered were appreciated, the greatest gift state residents could give the family now was privacy.

"We are going through a lot right now," Brent Currier said. "I don't want anything else out there."

Born in Lowell, Currier grew up in Methuen until the eighth grade, when he moved to Londonderry with his mother. He spent his summers on Plum Island, his grandfather said.

"I've got a place on Plum Island and he spent every summer there since he was a baby," Russ Currier said. "We hunted and fished. I did everything with this boy."

Currier joined the Marine Corps in March of 2009 and deployed to Afghanistan in January. His grandfather said that after Currier arrived in Afghanistan, he told family members he was pleased to be a part of the mission there.

"He said, 'I'm proud to be over here, these people need us,' " Russ Currier said. "He was very proud to be a Marine."

In September, Eric Currier married Kaila Parkhurst, formerly of Haverhill.

His grandfather said Kaila was with Eric Currier's parents in Delaware Friday night awaiting the arrival of Currier's body at Dover Air Force Base.

Friends and neighbors of Currier's remembered him as a social and affable man who was well-liked in the community.

Newbury resident and friend, Stephanie Culbert, said that he enjoyed fishing on his grandfather's boat, swimming, basketball, and joking with his siblings.

"He was always friendly and outgoing," Culbert said. "He'd always do anything for anybody if they asked."

Eileen Fahey, who lives near the grandparents in Newbury -- where they also reside -- remembered Currier as a "wonderful kid" who spent a lot of time with his family.

"He was just a really nice kid," she said. "Like a kid you'd be proud to say was your brother."

Fahey said that her daughter, Katie, a friend of Currier, called in disbelief from Georgia when she heard that he had died.

"She said, 'Mom, that's not Eric,' " Fahey said. "It's a big loss."

Russ Currier said a memorial service will be held, although he did not yet know a date.

In addition to his parents Kevin and Helen Boudreau, brother Brent and grandfather Russ Currier, Pfc. Currier leaves his wife, Kaila Currier, 21.

Marine Pfc. Eric D. Currier was killed in action on 2/17/10.

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