DEAR ABBY: I have sad news. Unfortunately, we are forced to cancel Operation Dear Abby for the 2001 holiday season. Recent mail-related attacks have demonstrated the vulnerability of the postal system. As a result, mail handling has become more sensitive and time-consuming. The increased volume of mail resulting from Operation Dear Abby, coupled with the increased manpower effort for Force Protection, has the potential of impacting both the quality of service and, more important, the safety provided to our military personnel.
Operation Dear Abby creates an avenue to introduce mail into the system from unknown sources. Our primary concern is the safety of the members of the armed forces who are forward-deployed in defense of our country.
I want to personally thank you for your long and distinguished service to the members of the armed forces of the United States of America. Your efforts and the efforts of your readers are acknowledged and appreciated by all service members. -- CAPT. E.M. DUCOM, U.S. NAVY, DEPUTY DIRECTOR, MILITARY POSTAL SERVICE AGENCY
DEAR CAPT. DUCOM: Thank you. I know your message will come as a disappointment to the many thousands of patriotic Americans who for the past 16 years have joyfully participated in sending cards and letters to our servicemen and women, and who had looked forward to Operation Dear Abby this year. While I, too, am extremely disappointed, I know I speak for my readers when I say the safety of our military personnel is paramount.