DEAR ABBY: I'm the mother of a U.S. Navy sailor who has been the recipient of random acts of kindness from complete strangers. I was most affected personally when a woman stopped us in a large parking garage in Chicago to say, "Thank you for your service, young man." And there was a stranger who paid for my son's meal in an airport when he had a layover on his way home for Christmas. Another time, we were in a line to see a movie and the attendant waved us to the front of the line -- and everyone smiled about it.
Whenever my son goes anywhere in uniform, he's stopped by people who just want to say thank you.
I'm amazed and thrilled. Part of the reason I am so touched is I was a teenager living in San Diego during the Vietnam era. At that time, young people in the military were cursed and reviled. It was a shameful time in our history when people serving their country could not be proud of their service. Today, I am proud of my son, and he is able to be proud of himself and his decision to enlist in the Navy.
So, thank you to all you folks who show your gratitude to our service members by the little things you do. You not only touch that person, but their extended family as well. -- PROUD MOM IN OVERLAND PARK, KAN.
DEAR PROUD MOM: I'm pleased to pass along your sentiments -- and honored you chose me to be the messenger. All of us owe our thanks and support to those brave young men and women who have dedicated themselves -- and who risk their lives -- in service to our country. Not only should we thank them when we see them, but we should also pray for their safe return.