Dear Abby:

I am a retired soldier. Some time ago, I wrote the following verse for those who are now fighting for us. What can we do for them? Write, yes! But better than that, LIVE.

Cortland E. Richmond

Rohnert Park, Calif. Thank you for granting me permission to use excerpts from your poem. Today is Veterans Day, and I am sure it will strike a responsive chord with all who read it.

CURRENCY

Do not give medals for our death;

Where we are, we cannot know.

Do not raise flags and hold parades;

Where we are, flags don't go.

We ask but one thing of our land,

Of you who had us fight:

"Please be WORTH the blood we shed,

"Be worth the eternal night."

We are the currency you spend

For freedom, fear or oil;

Our blood, the coin you pay,

Dark on some foreign soil.

Dear Abby:

My problem involves a good friend of mine I'll call "Danny." He seems to be infatuated with my wife. Danny was best man at our wedding and kept making jokes like, "I get to marry her if you don't show up, right?"

Ever since the wedding, he makes comments about how he's going to "steal her away." When the three of us get together, Danny is overly affectionate with my wife and sometimes even tries to wrestle with her.

Since we're such good pals, I felt like I should talk to him about it. But when I brought up the subject, he dismissed it as jealousy.

My wife and I have discussed this problem several times, but cannot find a way to resolve it. Neither of us wants to hurt Danny or damage our friendship, but we're both getting tired of this.

Any ideas?

New Husband in Colorado

You are both being taken advantage of. Since you have already talked to your friend about how his behavior makes you feel, it's now time for your wife to speak up.

In no uncertain terms she should tell him to lay off and that his advances are inappropriate and a turnoff. If that doesn't bring about the desired result, end the friendship.

Dear Abby:

I am a 14-year-old girl who learned something very special last holiday season. I learned there's more to Christmas than just getting gifts -- it's also giving gifts. Some families can't afford to give their kids presents.

My family participated in a program through my mom's work called Adopt-a-Family.

Through this program, you receive a piece of paper with the name and address of a needy family. There is also a list of some items that they want or need. We bought gifts for a mother and her two sons, who were 6 and 7.

Instead of requesting DVD players and computer games, these kids wanted warm clothes and board games. Those little boys wanted things that are practical. The mother also listed items like towels, washcloths, dishes and a toaster.

If more families quit thinking about what they want and gave more thought to what others need, they could also help a needy family around Christmastime and other times.

If they do, it will make their Christmas a whole lot better!

Wanting to Help in Oregon That's a terrific idea. Others who would like to participate in such a program should contact their local department of social services or local churches and get the names of needy families. Blessed are those who give from the heart -- and bless you for a wonderful suggestion.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, Calif. 90069.

(c)2002, Universal Press Syndicate