DEAR ABBY: I am an active-duty member of the U.S. Navy stationed aboard the USNS Laramie, a Navy refueling oiler that supports the fleet. I have recently spent my first holiday away from home -- in the Mediterranean Sea, to be exact.
My crew members and I applaud all of the individuals who worked so hard to make Operation Dear Abby a success this year. Abby, many of us have tried to respond to each person individually. Unfortunately, with the hundreds of cards, boxes of cookies and candies, and other items that were sent to "Any Service Member, Operation Dear Abby," I'm not sure every person will get a reply. So, on behalf of my fellow shipmates and other military members stationed away from home, I would like to say, "THANK YOU, AMERICA! We may not have been home for the holidays, but we know that our sacrifice has not been in vain. Your kindness is appreciated!"
I know that I speak for all members of the military when I say we wish everyone all the best during the coming year. -- DONNA A. EVANS, YEOMAN FIRST CLASS, U.S. NAVY
DEAR DONNA: It is with pleasure that I'm transmitting your message to the patriotic Americans who participated in Operation Dear Abby. Although our servicemen and women may be far away, they are in our hearts and never far from our thoughts.