DEAR HARRIETTE: So I've been seeing a guy for a little over a year, and he's joined the Air Force. He will be starting basic training in the months to come. I've tried to do some research on what military life is like so I can know what to expect when the time comes. I am so nervous. I really like him and believe we could have something, but I am afraid. With all the wars going on, I don't want him to get killed. I don't really know how to be supportive of him when I would rather he not go. How can I be a good girlfriend? -- Baby Don't Go, Racine, Wisconsin
DEAR BABY DON'T GO: You are doing the right thing in researching what your boyfriend will have to do to prepare to be in the military. You two should talk about his plans and discover together what's ahead for him. While you are justified in being nervous about his future, you can also be extremely proud that he is one of the people who is stepping up to protect our country and its interests.
I would be remiss if I did not say that personally I am extremely conflicted over the wars in which we find our troops these days. But I do know that the men and women who make this choice are brave and should be respected for their loyalty and commitment. Do your best to adopt the attitude of gratitude for the course your boyfriend is setting for himself. At the same time, talk openly about the future. Be as clear as you can about expectations on both of your parts. Do you imagine staying together? Let him know your intentions, and agree to check in about your feelings on a regular basis. Being honest is the best thing you can do.