Last week, our Director Sarah wrote an Opinion Editorial published in USA Today that resonated with many of you in our community: “A COVID Christmas: Military families are used to spending holidays apart. You can do it, too.” Now is YOUR chance to carry and spread this message, too.
Why Submit a Letter to the Editor?
A Letter to the Editor (LTE) is a quick blurb that newspapers publish to give a snapshot of life from a member of the community. It provides a personal perspective on broad, difficult issues. A strong LTE on the local level can be persuasive and reach people in a way that traditional news stories and national pundits never will.
That’s why we’re encouraging YOU to write a Letter to the Editor for your local publication! Because of COVID, so many Americans are making tough choices about how to spend their holidays. You can help personalize the connection between military sacrifices and all of our sacrifices this season.
How to Submit a Letter to the Editor?
Step 1: Decide where you want to submit your letter. Your best bet will be picking a local news outlet where you either live or vote. (For example, an Nebraska resident pitching to the Omaha World Herald or the Lincoln Star!) Make sure to include your relevant address in the submission.
Step 2: Look them up online. Every news outlet is different, so once you’ve identified your target outlet, check out their website — usually under a section called “Letters to the Editor,” “Opinion,” “Commentary,” or something like that. That should tell you what their word limit is (typically 250 words) and the submission form or email address you should send to.
Step 3: Prep your letter. What’s the important message that you wish your neighbors knew, and what makes your perspective unique? A lot of civilian communities appreciate learning about their military neighbors, so don’t be afraid to plug that experience.
Step 4: Send and wait!
Letter to the Editor Templates
Our volunteer drafted two LTE templates to make it easy for you to participate. With your letter, you can explore the unique COVID risks of this season, offer hope for new holiday traditions, and give readers a glimpse of what military service and sacrifice looks like year after year.
Customize the tone and add your own personality to make it sound authentic to you and your voice. And, please, let us know when you’re published! We would love to see and share your letters.
Letter to the Editor on COVID Sacrifices, version 1:
American civilians often put military families on a pedestal, admiring their sacrifices and service to the country. But as a military spouse, I have news for you: these are your patriotic duties, too. Today our greatest enemy is a deadly virus that’s killing over two thousand Americans a day. As civilians, you’re not being asked to deploy, but to make small sacrifices. Wear a mask. Postpone that big family gathering. Curtail your travel. You don’t have to enlist or deploy to save American lives–you can do it here on the home front. You count on us to do the right thing on behalf of our country. Now we’re counting on you. Don’t let us down.
Letter to the Editor on COVID Sacrifices, version 2:
American military members often spend holidays away from the people they love. Deployments and remote duty stations mean postponing plans to gather with family are par for the course. Civilians, you might admire the sacrifices of military families like mine, but now it’s your turn to make sacrifices and serve the greater good. The first week of December alone, American deaths from COVID-19 were three times the number killed in the entire Iraq War. By staying home, reducing travel, avoiding large groups, and masking up, you can save American lives. The more that patriotic Americans make these small sacrifices, the sooner all of us can gather. Sacrificing for our country is everyone’s job.