Life Advice



Ask Amy: Veteran responds to ‘thank you for your service’

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

What we're being told, one DNA test at a time, is that the nuclear family was never the tight, loyal unit that many Americans imagined it to be.

Sexual and filial relationships frequently cut across families, yet it was stigmatized and hidden, left out of the heirloom photo album.

We are learning who we really were and are.

Had we been more honest about this as a culture, imagine the shame, poverty, and trauma that might have been averted.

– My Policy is Honesty

Dear Honesty: I completely agree.


Dear Amy: Thank you for recommending the Smithsonian Digital Volunteers in a recent column.

I joined the transcribers two weeks ago and love being a part of this important project.

I have transcribed over 150 documents of the Civil War Reconstruction period, mostly from 1866 to 1867.

Along with 50,000 other transcribers, I am helping to create the links that will allow many people to digitally search their family lineage as never before, and I am learning so much about the social and cultural world of the 1860s.


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