People appreciate a good love story, be it of the funny, wacky or utterly bizarre variety.

Amorous accounts are always alluring.

With love on the mind, the Army and Air Force Exchange Service is seeking stories of romance, using cash and top-shelf chocolate as bait. They are asking individuals to submit up to 500 words to playfully – or mournfully, as the story may go – recount their tale.

“Since it’s around Valentine’s Day, we thought it would be fun,” said Lisa Moak, strategic marketing manager for AAFES’ corporate headquarters in Dallas. “We thought people would be thinking of romance.”

This weekend they most certainly will, seeing that Monday is Valentine’s Day.

The AAFES contest, part of its Patriot Family Connection campaign, actually extends all the way to March 4. It started Feb.4.

The grand prize winner takes home $1,000, while the runner-up gets $500. Two other contestants will each receive $250. Besides winning a grand, the top prize includes a cache of chocolate and a stuffed bear named Valentino, both courtesy of the sponsor, Godiva Chocolatier.

Moak said AAFES plans to post the winning entries on its website.

The contest is open to all Department of Defense ID card holders who are at least 18 years of age, or old enough to have a love tale or two. Each entry will be judged on its “uniqueness and ability to express a humorous or interesting story of love and romance,” according to an AAFES news release. “Subjects in the story need to be tied to the military, either having served, currently serving or supporting the military in some capacity.”

Participants may enter online by sending their story to AAFES would like contestants to post “Romance Rocks” in the subject line.

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