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by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: I think it is important that we never forget the sacrifices our servicemen and women have made in order for us to enjoy our precious freedom.

The following poem was written by a dear friend of mine, Douglas Kamees, a disabled veteran who, like me, served in the armed forces so that freedom might ring in America from shore to shore. I hope you find it worth printing on Memorial Day. -- CHARLES LaMARCHE, NEWPORT NEWS, VA.

DEAR CHARLES: I'm pleased to share this fitting tribute with my readers on the traditional date for Memorial Day. Thank you for sending it.

TO THOSE WHO SERVED

We walk for those who no longer walk,

We speak for those whose voice is still.

We remember those with memories lost,

And we honor those who fell.

The soldiers off in foreign lands,

The sailors on foreign seas.

Marines who died in hand-to-hand

That we might all be free.

The airman who, in lofty skies,

flew bravely into wars.

The men who stayed to watch our coast,

and guard our freedom's shores.

To these brave men and women,

Give honor justly due.

Their ultimate sacrifice guaranteed

Freedom for me and you.

-- DOUGLAS KAMEES

DEAR ABBY: I visited an elderly neighbor recently while she was writing her first-of-the-month checks. She was complaining about an account balance that kept going up, even though she never bought anything.

I was "nosy" enough to ask to see the statement, and I was appalled at what I saw. The woman was being charged for supplementary house insurance she didn't need, there was a fee for membership to an auto club -- even though she hasn't driven for more than five years and doesn't own a car -- and she was paying for credit card protection "should she become unemployed." Abby, this neighbor is more than 80 years old and long retired. If only I had looked sooner, I might have saved her many hundreds of dollars.

Other older people may be caught in similar traps. Abby, please warn those who care about their elderly friends and relatives to investigate when they complain about bills they do not understand. Please do not reveal my name or town because it would embarrass my neighbor. -- NOSY NEIGHBOR WITH A PURPOSE

DEAR NEIGHBOR: Bless you for helping your neighbor. While what you describe may be more likely to happen to elderly consumers, anyone who doesn't understand a bill should either discuss it with the company that issued it or have someone else help them clarify the charges.

What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS, and getting along with peers and parents is in "What Every Teen Should Know." To order, send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, Ill. 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)

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