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by Abigail Van Buren

Wife Scratching Her Head Over Soldier Itching to Fight

DEAR ABBY: My husband has been in the Army for eight years and has never had the opportunity to serve overseas. His unit is now at the top of Uncle Sam's list for overseas deployment, and I am scared to death. He was recently offered a full-time position with the Air Force, where he would be stateside until he retires.

We have three children under the age of 3. I know that more than anything my children and I need him around. He refuses to even consider the offer and can't wait to go into combat and leave us behind. This has caused many arguments during the past few months, but he still won't budge.

As a soldier's wife, I know there are sacrifices to be made, but am I selfish to want him to stay here at home where it's safe? -- SOLDIER'S WIFE IN COLORADO

DEAR SOLDIER'S WIFE: Selfish? No. Human, yes. However, your husband is career military -- and the possibility of combat is a reality that goes along with it. It will take courage and resiliency on your part, but you will not face the separation -- or the risk -- alone. The families of everyone in your husband's unit, not to mention those already deployed, experience the same separation anxiety. I hope you all can emotionally support each other. There is strength in numbers.

DEAR ABBY: As my mother lay dying, one of her female friends asked her what she intended to do with her condo "when the time came." Mother was dumbfounded, but politely responded that she did not know -- she would leave those details up to her three adult children.

Mother passed away two months ago. This same "friend" sent our family a sympathy card. Inside she wrote: "What do you plan to do with the unit in Orlando? We have friends who would like to buy it. Let us know ASAP and we'll put them in touch with you."

Abby, how would you respond to this? -- APPALLED IN FLORIDA

DEAR APPALLED: This "friend" has set a new record for tactlessness and insensitivity.

How would I respond? If I wanted to sell the condo, I'd notify a Realtor and have him or her contact this friend. Alternatively, if I wanted to retain the condo, I'd ignore that "sympathy" card.

DEAR ABBY: I am a senior in high school and I'm worried about my best friend, "Holly." She's started hanging with some raunchy guys who get into all sorts of trouble. Holly insists that she "connects" with them on many levels. It's a well-known fact that the guy she's now dating carries a gun.

I've tried to tell Holly how scared I am for her and that she could do better, but she refuses to listen. Should I continue to be her friend in spite of all these dangerous circumstances? -- WORRIED AND CONFUSED

DEAR WORRIED AND CONFUSED: It is time to start backing off. Whether she realizes it or not, Holly is headed for serious trouble -- and you must not get caught in the crossfire, literally or figuratively.

Tell your parents what's going on right away. With luck, they'll inform her parents, and if this is happening on school grounds, the principal and the police should also be notified.

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-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $5 (U.S. funds only) to: Dear Abby -- Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included in the price.)

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