07/15/12 — A message from the editor

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A message from the editor

By Renee Carey
Published in News on July 15, 2012 1:50 AM

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Renee Carey

Being the editor of a daily newspaper does not often lend itself to joyous interactions with mankind.

In fact, much of my day is occupied by politicians, crime news and what the latest Washington misstep is doing to damage the economy.

So, when I heard about the Kuhlman family's dilemma, my sometimes reluctant heart skipped a beat and I started adding up the numbers in my head.

Whom could I call? My brother, my parents, my best friend from my first job?

Maybe if we all pooled our resources, we could make this happen.

But then I remembered where I live and work.

And I decided to ask you to help.

And did you ever.

I have been in Wayne County for almost eight years, and I have seen many, many examples of the incredible people who live here.

Your hearts are so big, and you understand that it is not enough to talk about caring for others, that you have to be there when they need you. And you answer those calls over and over again -- even if your own coffers are not as full as they used to be. There is no holding back when there is a need.

Within hours of our reporter Ken Fine's wonderful story telling you of the Kuhlmans' plight, there were checks at our door.

Some were small, some were large, but all of them came with notations both in honor of the pets who have meant so much in your lives and offering your support and thanks to the airmen and their families at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base.

Some of you are ex-military -- and you have been there. And some of you have a child who would be lost without his or her best furry friend. Some of you even jotted down a notation to a beloved "grandpet" or told us stories of the animals who have forever etched their way into your lives and hearts.

You are dog people and cat people -- and some were both.

A few of you even had pets who had made their own journeys to England -- and one special memorial was made to Jubilee, who made the reverse trip years ago.

But there is one thing you all have in common -- caring hearts, hundreds of them.

There were many generous donations, but there were just as many that came in small increments -- and they meant just as much to us and to the Kuhlmans.

We have raised the money to send William, Short Round and Schootch to England. They leave at the end of this month. The Kuhlmans have promised to send photos, which we will share with you.

After months of worry and sadness, the human members of this family are now looking forward to their new adventure, together, as a family.

But making one family happy is not all you have done.

We have enough money to work with the Airman and Family Readiness Center to set up a way to help other families in the same circumstance. All the extra money, we will announce the final total after we have made the payments to the airline, will go toward helping SJAFB families as they defend us at home and around the world.

We will give you the details later.

But you might not be aware, you accomplished something else, too.

This story is getting a lot of attention.

We have heard from a national rescue that works with military personnel and their pets. They are considering adding a pet relocation fund to their efforts to allow them to help families like the Kuhlmans keep their pets.

We have also heard that at another agency there might be changes in the future in how pet relocation might be categorized.

And then there is the airline, you caught their attention, too.

Not a bad week's work for a little town, huh?

We will keep you posted on the developments as they come along, but we could not let the Sunday paper pass without letting you know how much we admire and respect this community.

You came through again -- and shocked this hardened, but still gooey inside, editor.

Please don't tell anyone. I have a reputation to uphold.