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by Abigail Van Buren

Roommate's Gifts to Girl Make Her Boyfriend Appear Cheap

DEAR ABBY: You printed a letter from "Surprised Wife in Oklahoma City," whose son had asked for his deceased father's military records. The widow was shocked to discover they contained a reference to her husband having been before a board of inquiry for striking an officer. She said her husband had never mentioned it to her or his family because it would have been a "disgrace."

Abby, I see no disgrace here. The function of a court of inquiry is to inquire into a situation and determine whether any legal action is appropriate. Since there is no mention of a military trial in her husband's records, the court of inquiry must have determined that her husband did nothing deserving of punishment.

The Army's opinion of her husband was expressed in the wording on his honorable discharge certificate "awarded as a testimonial of honest and faithful service." If it's good enough for the military, it should be good enough for her and her son. -- DICK SCHUBERT, DENVER

DEAR DICK: Thank you for the short course on the military legal system. I'm sure it will comfort the widow who wrote that letter.