Dear Annie: I am a 23-year-old man. I served in the army and deployed to Afghanistan. I was medically discharged for PTSD about two years ago.
I'm currently going to school to be a firefighter, but I'm afraid I've picked this field not because it interests me, but because I cannot go back into the military.
I'm working in an office now, and I hate my job. Before this, I worked at a department store and as a machinist. But, Annie, I can't see myself anywhere but with the military. What should I do? — Lost Soldier
Dear Lost: Those who have been in the military sometimes have difficulty accepting a job that is less exciting or challenging. The intensity of the military experience and the bonding with one's fellow soldiers can make everything else pale in comparison. For some, it takes a great deal of time to readjust. Check out military.com for other job opportunities for veterans, and also Career One Stop. Military OneSource offers suggestions and website links for transitioning military members that might also be helpful for you.
Dear Annie: I have been a widower for almost three years. For the past six months, I've been seeing a nice lady for a friendly relationship. She also lost her spouse several years ago.
My lady friend and I have dined out a few times, and she has questioned why I still wear my wedding ring. Annie, my wife was my only love. We were together more than 60 years. I will never love anyone like that again.
Is it right for me to wear my wedding ring? Or if I am seeing someone, should I put it away? My friend says she is uncomfortable when I have it on. I care about this woman, so please tell me what I should do. — Widower Out East
Dear Widower: You actually have two issues: How long should you wear your wedding ring once you have begun dating again, and is a casual girlfriend of six months entitled to tell you to remove it?
Wearing your wedding ring gives the impression that you are still connected to your first wife and not ready to move on. Nonetheless, wearing it is your decision, not your girlfriend's. Widows often remove a wedding band and wear it on their other hand or have it refashioned into a necklace or other piece of jewelry, allowing them to continue wearing it in a less prominent location. You might consider this when you are ready.
Dear Annie: I'd like to address this to Unhappy Mother of a Son: You are not alone. I haven't seen my son since Mother's Day, when I got my annual 30-minute visit. Yet every week, my son goes to dinner with his wife's parents. Last month, they went on a family vacation with his in-laws. On Thanksgiving, my daughter-in-law didn't even take her coat off or sit down when they came by.
I am totally excluded from my son's life except for a few text messages that he sends when I suspect his wife isn't around.
I am not a nasty person. I am quite nice to my daughter-in-law. I buy her lovely presents for her birthday and Christmas and make special cakes for her birthday. I text her and send her messages on Facebook, but she never responds. She tells my son that my messages never get through, but we both know that can't possibly be true. Everyone else gets my messages.
Not every mother-in-law is a monster, and not every daughter-in-law is a daughter. — Another Unhappy Mother of a Son
This Classic Annie's Mailbox column was originally published in 2014. To find out more about Classic Annie's Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit Creators Syndicate at www.creators.com.