, 2014

Hometown friends to spend
holidays together miles away

They won’t be home for Christmas, but two men from Lively now serving in the armed forces may have discovered the next best thing.

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Best friends since elementary school, Sgt. Matt Dennis and Petty Officer 2nd Class Ted Fox will spend the holidays together in Manama, Bahrain.

Dennis is attached to the Marine Corps Fleet Anti-terrorism Security Team, Central Command, (FASTCENT) aboard NSA Bahrain which plays a vital role in supporting both fleet and fighter in U.S. Naval Forces Central Command area of operation.

The FASTCENT provides security protection to U.S. Navy ships in ports throughout the CENTCOM area of operation and to U.S. embassies and consulates, said Rhonda Lawrence.  Members of FASTCENT are on standby, ready to deploy at a moment’s notice should the need arise.

Fox is attached to the U.S. Coast Guard Patrol Forces Southwest Asia.  PATFORSWA is a U.S. Coast Guard command based in Manama. The command’s mission is to train, equip, deploy and support maritime forces conducting operations in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF).

In the Naval Forces Central Command’s area of responsibility. Fox is assigned to the Middle East Training Team (METT) responsible for providing specialized law enforcement training to all cutters in theater and certifying their Level II Non-Compliant Boarding Teams, said Lawrence.

Fox and Dennis grew up as best friends in Lively. Both graduated from Lancaster High School in 2003. They never could have imagined that their careers would bring them together 5,000 miles away from their hometown, they said.

Both say it’s not every day that best friends from a small town in Virginia get to serve together overseas, and will never forget the experience together, although they both say they can’t wait to get back home to their family and friends.

Dennis is the husband of Jessica Walker Dennis and the son of Heather and Ray Dennis.

Fox is the son of Rhonda and Jeff Lawrence, and the late Chuck Fox.

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