Unfortunately, you're almosst exactly halfway across the country, but I wanted to say, even if it's on a semi-anonymous BBS, you continue to be as brave as when you served--I do not know how to ask for hugs from people. There's a real thing out there called "touch starvation." Unless you know about it, look it up. A lot of single/lonely men have it precisely because it's genuinely hard socially to ask for a hug, I have it very badly. I do not know how to ask. I just wanted to say I kind of admire your bravery here.
This works on Skype, let's see if it works here. Should be a teddy bear hugging something that's too small for me to see.
Pretend it worked.
My Story, Condensed
"A man who never makes mistakes must get tired of doing nothing," --Alan Ludden quoting a viewer's letter on Password Plus