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by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: My sixth-grade students and I would like to salute Capt. Michael Casper of the U.S. Army, currently stationed in Tuzla, Bosnia, with whom we became acquainted through your Operation Dear Abby holiday letter-writing campaign. Since November of last year, when he received and replied to a letter written by one of my students, Capt. Casper has become a friend, teacher and very special person in our lives.

Through him we have come to learn more in a personal way about our world. In fact, after hearing that the children near him had no school to attend because it was bombed, we recently completed a school-wide drive for pencils and other school supplies. As I write, a package is in the mail to Bosnia, where Capt. Casper will film the distribution of the supplies at a local refugee center and send us the videotape.

Fortunately, we have been able to correspond through e-mail. In his messages he challenges my students to learn about world geography and informs them about the various places where he's been stationed. He has demonstrated in many ways that he cares about my students.

Abby, in addition to recognizing this fine serviceman, I would like to thank you for setting up the program that brought us together. Keep up the good work. -- GEORGANN COON, SIXTH-GRADE TEACHER, E.E. KNIGHT SCHOOL, ELSIE, MICH.

DEAR MS. COON: Thank you for an upper of a letter. I have often said that my readers are the most thoughtful and generous people in the world. One of the most powerful forces for good is generated when people reach out to help each other.

DEAR ABBY: I am a 15-year-old virgin attending high school. Lately there has been lot of controversy about handing out condoms in our school. As an educated teen-ager, I would like to tell all of the adults who are trying to terminate the distribution that they need to go outside their fantasy worlds and realize that many teen-agers are having unprotected sex because of the lack of availability of contraceptives and condoms.

The risks of unprotected sex are no longer short-lived, but can have lifelong effects and, in some cases, can be terminal.

It is ignorant to believe that if we tell people not to do something they will always listen. Education is the key to awareness, but when education fails, some form of protection must be available. The comparison heard on the popular television series "Beverly Hills, 90210" is that you can build a fence around a pool and lock the gate, but if there is even a possibility that a child might get in, why not teach him to swim? -- MELISSA IN NORFOLK, VA.

DEAR MELISSA: Bravo! I couldn't have said it better.

DEAR ABBY: I thought you might get a kick out of this:

My crossword puzzle clue read, "a famous twin." Four spaces were allotted, so I wrote in "ABBY."

Wrong! The correct answer was "ESAU." -- MARY WOOD SEALY, NEW IBERIA, LA.

DEAR MARY: Nice try, though!

Good advice for everyone -- teens to seniors -- is in "The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It." To order, send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, Ill. 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)

4520 Main St., Kansas City, Mo. 64111; (816) 932-6600