Words won't make a military mom feel better

DEAR ABBY: My son serves on a ship in the Navy in an area known for terrorism. People who know this tell me how safe his ship is, how strong the U.S. military is, etc.

Please, people, when I (or anyone else who has a family member in the military) ask for prayers or express concern, do not offer these platitudes. Offer a hug, a hand squeeze, say you will pray for us - but understand that until our loved ones are back on U.S. soil, our fears and tension won't lessen.

Unless you have been in our shoes, you can't know how we feel when we watch the news because we have no true idea of what is going on. I am proud of my son for his service and even encouraged it, but this is a rough time for me and others who are in this situation.

- Military Mother

DEAR MILITARY MOTHER: Many people are uncomfortable when they encounter an emotional situation and don't know what to say. Their impulse is to "make it better," not realizing that sometimes a gesture is more eloquent than words can be. When a loved one is in harm's way, it is an emotional roller-coaster ride for all concerned.


DEAR ABBY: Bicyclists are supposed to abide by the vehicle codes, but they rarely do - and that includes not wearing protective gear. I'm now seeing people on bikes texting, talking while riding and routinely ignoring stop signs. Disappointingly, I have never seen a single rider pulled over or ticketed for doing this.

How many lives must be destroyed or lost before the police start enforcing penalties for the danger these people cause to others?

- Caring Reader, Sacramento, Calif.

DEAR CARING READER: The adults I see weaving in and out and ignoring stop signs are old enough to know better.

Police may ignore the infractions because they have more serious crimes to attend to. Or perhaps they have been instructed to do so. (If members of law enforcement would like to address this, I'd love to hear from you.) If car drivers are pulled over for broken or missing headlights or taillights, shouldn't the same be true for bicyclists?