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by Abigail Van Buren

Girlfriend's Big Diamond May Be Too High a Price to Pay

DEAR ABBY: I am a 21-year-old soldier stationed with the U.S. Army in Heidelberg, Germany. I am spending my second holiday season away from home. I remember all the "little things" that make Thanksgiving and Christmas special in my family, and I get homesick realizing how much I took for granted.

I chose this life, and I am here for a great cause. I get up every day and put on my uniform and know that I am doing some good. As I get together with friends over here, I try to make the most of what I have.

I would like to say to my fellow military personnel, when you start to get homesick, remember you are appreciated not only by your family, but by every American family -- particularly those who can participate in Operation Dear Abby by sending us holiday cards.

Thanks, Abby, for all you do. -- A SOLDIER OVERSEAS

DEAR SOLDIER: You have a good head on your shoulders and a healthy attitude. I'm certain your letter will lift the spirits of armed forces members far from home.