Vet­er­ans’ groups fall for my fa­ther’s lies about see­ing com­bat

Chicago Sun-Times - - ENTERTAINM­ENT -

Dear Abby: My fa­ther is 87 and has stage 4 can­cer. For years he has lied about be­ing a hos­pi­tal corps­man in the Navy dur­ing the Korean War. My par­ents live in a re­tire­ment com­mu­nity, and he talks about be­ing in the war while wear­ing a Navy base­ball cap. Dad was in the Naval Re­serve (that we know of ) but never saw com­bat.

Vet­er­ans’ groups are al­ways bring­ing him quilts, food, etc. My mom is hor­ri­fied and doesn’t know what to say when he goes on a rant about hav­ing been hit by shrap­nel while pulling a fel­low naval guy out of a burn­ing build­ing. He will pass away soon, and the vet­er­ans’ groups will be giv­ing Mom a flag he doesn’t de­serve. Mom doesn’t know what to do. Should we just ig­nore the an­tics or say some­thing? Please help. Un­cer­tain in Florida

Dear Un­cer­tain: What your fa­ther has been do­ing is called “stolen valor” or “stolen honor,” and it is se­ri­ously frowned upon by peo­ple who have ac­tu­ally earned it. It is a form of fraud. How­ever, any­one who has served in the mil­i­tary and been hon­or­ably dis­charged is en­ti­tled to be given a flag when he or she is buried. It will be folded and pre­sented to your mother.

As to the gifts he is re­ceiv­ing from the vet­er­ans’ groups, sug­gest that be­cause your fa­ther is now so close to the end, they be given to other vets who can use them.

Dear Abby: My hus­band and I are in our 60s and have a swim­ming pool that our kids and grand­kids like to visit. Our is­sue is that our grand­daugh­ter wears a bathing suit that shows her bum. It isn’t a thong, but close to it.

She’s 16 and start­ing her ju­nior year of high school this year. It makes my hus­band and me un­com­fort­able, and we have told my daugh­ter as much. Is this one of those sit­u­a­tions where we ei­ther ac­cept it or don’t al­low her to swim with such a suit?

I love my grand­daugh­ter and will put up with the way it makes us feel if that is where the line is drawn, but it is hard for us to un­der­stand. When she brings her friends, they dress the same way. What do you ad­vise? Un­com­fort­able Grand­par­ents

Dear Grand­par­ents: Be­cause you and your spouse are un­com­fort­able with the amount of ex­po­sure your grand­daugh­ter and her friends dis­play when they come to swim, you have the right to tell them to wear some­thing less re­veal­ing. It’s your pool, and the bot­tom line is it’s your priv­i­lege to set the rules. Be pre­pared, how­ever, for your grand­daugh­ter to not want to use your pool as of­ten in the fu­ture.

Dear Abby: I’ve been dat­ing a very sweet girl for the last four months, and I’m start­ing to have se­ri­ous feel­ings for her. My chil­dren re­ally like her, but she sat me down the other night and told me she’s trans­gen­der. I’m crushed, and I don’t know what to do. This blows my mind; please give me any guid­ance. I care a lot about this per­son, and I just want to cry. Crushed in the South

Dear Crushed: You say you are start­ing to have se­ri­ous feel­ings for this girl, who is not only sweet, but also HON­EST. If you are wor­ried what oth­ers might think if they find out she wasn’t as­signed fe­male at birth, then she’s not the girl for you. Be­cause she has laid all her cards on the ta­ble, take this as an op­por­tu­nity to have a se­ries of frank con­ver­sa­tions with her about what chal­lenges might lie ahead for the both of you if this ro­mance pro­gresses. Dear Abby is writ­ten by Abi­gail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Con­tact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los An­ge­les, CA 90069.

MY MOM IS HOR­RI­FIED AND DOESN’T KNOW WHAT TO SAY WHEN HE GOES ON A RANT ABOUT HAV­ING BEEN HIT BY SHRAP­NEL WHILE PULLING A FEL­LOW NAVAL GUY OUT OF A BURN­ING BUILD­ING.

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