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by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: Over the years, you have honored the men and women who have served our country in military service. As the widow of a military man, I want to express my gratitude. For the past two years, I have taken part in the ceremonies in Arlington Cemetery and at the Wall in Washington, D.C., and found them emotionally moving. Our country is free because young men and women in the service sacrificed their lives for their beloved America.

So often the "forgotten" ones are the wives and children left behind by the death of the military person. After World War II, four war widows felt the need to establish an organization called Gold Star Wives of America for widows whose husbands died on active duty, or who died as a result of disabilities incurred while on active duty. It was incorporated in the state of New York in December of 1945. The organization has worked to preserve and to institute government programs pertaining to the welfare of the widows and their children.

We need to reach the widows who have married again, and lost a second husband, with some good news. Their benefits can be reinstated by contacting their state director of veteran affairs.

Abby, will you be the bearer of these good tidings? It could be beneficial to thousands. -- FLORANCE B. HERBERT, NATIONAL PRESIDENT EMERITUS

DEAR FLORANCE: That's important news, and I am pleased to pass it along.

For further information, military widows may write: Gold Star Wives of America Inc., 5510 Columbia Pike, Suite 205, Arlington, VA 22204. Please enclose a long, stamped, self-addressed envelope. The organization also has a Web site:

DEAR ABBY: "Joel," my husband of 40 years, and I sleep in different bedrooms because he snores. He has a job that requires him to get up at 4 a.m. After he showers and gets dressed, he comes into my room to say goodbye.

Abby, in the process of saying goodbye, Joel feels for my face to kiss me and ends up leaning on my throat, poking me in the eye or pulling my hair. I naturally become frightened and jump, which causes him to clunk me again!

I have asked him countless times to allow me to sleep, but he still comes in to adjust my covers or rub my feet, both of which WAKE ME UP! I have tried locking my door, but then he plays with the dog outside my door, causing her to bark, and that WAKES ME UP!

I have tried getting up early with him, but I just can't function the rest of the day. I told him that waking me up early is a form of abuse, but he refuses to listen.


DEAR SLEEPLESS: Face it. Your husband is doing this deliberately. He resents your not getting up to be with him. Since he wakes you anyway, perhaps you should get up to see him off, and then take an afternoon siesta.

CONFIDENTIAL TO "AFRAID TO BREAK OUT OF MY RUT": The biggest human temptation is ... to settle for too little." (Thomas Merton, 1915-1968)

For an excellent guide to becoming a better conversationalist and a more attractive person, order "How to Be Popular." Send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby Popularity Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)

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