Dear Abby: The letter about the grandmother who was angry because her grandson Adam didn't bring her a souvenir T-shirt when he came home on leave from Iraq left me stunned. I can't believe a so-called adult would act that way. This young man is putting his life on the line for his country, and all she can think about is whether he brought her a souvenir?
Please give that woman a message for me: "Grandma, you DID get something. You got two weeks with your grandson, and you messed it up with your immaturity! Grow up and get a life!"
Thanks for reading this, Abby. I'm sure you got a lot of responses to that letter.
-- Nicole in Grayson, Ga.
Dear Nicole: I certainly did. That letter made a lot of readers see red, and I was flooded with mail. Read on:
Dear Abby: When my nephew was serving as a Marine in Iraq, I wrote him every week. I didn't expect to get any letters back, and didn't care if he never acknowledged the packages we sent. (He did send two letters, for which I am exceedingly grateful.) All I cared about was my nephew's safe return home.
Ironically, the same edition of the newspaper that featured the letter about that grandmother also featured my nephew's photo on the front page. He was killed by enemy fire in a town far away from his beloved Vermont.
That greedy woman obviously has no clue what those soldiers are experiencing. They need understanding and supportive family members. They need love without strings.
To the grandmother who thought a T-shirt was more important than her grandson, I would say, "You deserve a T-shirt that reads, 'I am a SELFISH MORON!' " -- and pray that no folded flag "souvenir" ever graces that young man's home.
-- Proud, Grieving Aunt in Vermont
Dear Aunt: Amen. Please accept my profound sympathy for your family's loss.
Dear Abby: A tendency to become angry over nothing can be a sign of the onset of dementia. There can be no other excuse for the greed, insensitivity and utterly disgraceful attitude that grandmother has exhibited. She should be down on her knees thanking the Lord, just as my mother did when I returned from combat, that her "souvenir" wasn't a body bag.
-- Matt in Post Falls, Idaho
Dear Matt: Several other readers also suggested that the grandmother might be becoming senile. I hadn't thought of that angle. Thank you for pointing it out.
Dear Abby: Adam's grandmother should consult her dictionary. GIFT: something bestowed or acquired without being sought or earned by the receiver.
That young man should send his grandmother a box of camel dung. When my daughter was in the desert, she said it was plentiful and easily accessible.
-- Proud Mom, Forks, Wash.