The Army and Air Force Exchange Service has selected and posted the four winners of its Romance Rocks Essay contest, which began in February around Valentine’s Day and closed last month.

The stories are short and sweet. They involve a pair of former high-school sweethearts who reunite after nearly three decades, a woman who traveled to a remote military site to be with her beau, a straight-talking Marine who artfully weathered his first fight with his young bride, and Santa Claus somehow finding a couple in Iraq.

The winners will receive AAFES gift cards, ranging in amounts from $250 to $1,000. They will be presented to them in the coming weeks, according to an AAFES news release. Somewhat appropriately, the first-place winner is currently deployed.

To view the essays, go to, and click on “Events/Contests.”

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