The USO has a unique opportunity to work with Chicken Soup for the Soul and be the charitable partner for their May book Chicken Soup for the Soul: Military Families edition.

We are looking for true stories of no more than 1200 words from military service members who defend and protect our country — both active and retired — and from their families: spouses, children, parents and other relatives. Tell us what it’s like to be part of a military family: the ups and downs, the funny stories, the heartwarming stories, and your best advice for other military families.

Here are some suggested topics but we know you can think of many more: • Military life… there’s nothing like it • We’ve got orders to deploy • The front line • The home front • Holidays — military style • Raising children in the military • The benefits of military life • And the sacrifices made by military families • Meeting your baby for the first time • Life on a military base • Moving… again! • The military community • Coming home • Beyond the call of duty • How technology has changed things/enabled communications • Miracles, dreams, and other amazing experiences • What you’ve learned from military life • How military life makes you different • Pets in the military • Healing and remembering • Remembering and honoring

Write your story or poem in the first person. Do not ghostwrite a story for someone else unless you list that person as the author. If a story was previously published, it will probably not be used unless it ran in a small circulation venue. Let us know where the story was previously published in the submission e-mail.

Remember that all stories should be true — they do not publish fiction — and should be no longer than 1200 words.

If your story is chosen, you will be a published author and your bio will be printed in the book if you so choose. You will also receive a check for $200 and 10 free copies of your book, worth more than $100. You will retain the copyright for your story and you will retain the right to resell it.

Stories should be submitted as a Microsoft Word Document and e-mailed to no later than February 10, 2017

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