DEAR ABBY: Letters from Dear Abby readers of all ages and all walks of life are flooding the Saudi Arabian desert!

I am a technical sergeant in the U.S. Air Force, serving my country proudly in Operation Desert Shield. The support and patriotism conveyed in those letters is overwhelming. Some letters are from veterans who tell us to stand tall and be proud. Some letters are from families who just want to say they care. All of them thank us for the job we are doing.We appreciate all the mail and packages, but the letters that send a tingle down the spine and bring a tear to the toughest of us are from America's children. They tell us their names and thank us for keeping America safe. They tell us they hope there will not be a war, but if there is, they trust us to "get it right." They draw pictures of flowers and trees so we won't forget what trees and flowers look like.

Abby, please let your readers know that their mail is getting here, but as diligent as we are, we doubt that all of it can be individually answered. We apologize for that, but please convey this message:

"Our love right back at ya, America! Your letters have warmed our hearts and made life a little more tolerable for so many of us in this desolate desert. And to answer the children, we hope there isn't a shooting war, but be assured, if there is, we will get it right. God bless America!" - T. SGT. DAN SHERIFF

DEAR ABBY: I teach government and economics at Grant High School in Van Nuys, Calif. This is a belated thank-you for one of your columns. I've been using it for years to explain the difference between communism, socialism, capitalism and a few other "isms." My students love it. - BARBARA HALPERN, VAN NUYS

DEAR BARBARA: Thanks for your thank-you. I'll run it again for others to enjoy. Here it is:

DEAR ABBY: A friend gave me these definitions of the various forms of government, and I thought you might want to share them with your readers:

Communism: You have two cows. The government takes both of them and gives you part of the milk.

Socialism: You have two cows. The government takes one and gives it to your neighbor.

Fascism: You have two cows. The government takes both cows and sells you the milk.

Nazism: You have two cows. The government takes both cows, then shoots you.

Bureaucracy: You have two cows. The government takes both of them, shoots one, milks the other, then pours the milk down the drain.

Capitalism: You have two cows. You sell one of them and buy a bull.

Abby, what happens in a democracy? - MRS. J. McC.

DEAR MRS. McC.: In a democracy, everyone has two cows, then a vote is taken, and whatever the majority decides to do, you do, and that's no bull!

Abby's family recipes are included in her cookbooklet. Send a long, business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada), to: Dear Abby, Cookbooklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054. (Postage is included.)