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The Tyson and Jamie Dennis Family



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07/01/2008 - There's the battle front. There's the home front. The Dennis family is familiar with both.

Like families across America and families right here in our town, the Dennis' are serving our country during this war on terrorism. Tyson knows the rigors of the front lines in Afghanistan and Iraq. Jamie knows the rigors of making a home for him when he's stateside between deployments and making a home for their four sons whether daddy's stateside or not.

Like so many Americans who make America great, the Dennis' are patriotic, committed to a cause greater than themselves, family-oriented, optimistic, and adventurous.

Yes, adventurous. Not just militarily with Tyson's volunteering to serve in the Army during a time of war, but domestically, too. For instance, there's the way they started their marriage in July 2002. By eloping to Ft. Bragg, North Carolina where Tyson was stationed with the 82nd Airborne Division. Jamie had just graduated from Kelly Walsh High School that year and Tyson wasn't much older. He graduated from KW the year before.

Six months after their wedding, Tyson was deployed to Afghanistan. He spent 8 months there. Meanwhile, Jamie returned to Casper to be with her family and near Tyson's family. During each of Tyson's deployments (One in Afghanistan and three in Iraq), Jamie always came home to her native Casper. Between deployments, she always returned to Tyson to make a home at whichever military base he was stationed.

Amid these separations and reunions, amid the angst of Tyson being at war and the joy of each of his safe returns, the Dennis family grew to six. Tyson and Jamie now have four healthy sons - Riley (4), Caiden (3), and twins Kegan and Kolter (7 months), all of whom are described as "energetic. True boys. Always ready for an adventure."

In May 2005, Tyson reenlisted and was sent to Ft. Lewis, Washington where he joined the Striker Brigade. The Striker Brigade serves on the front lines. In April 2007, he went to Iraq for the third time and only just returned stateside about a month ago.

Tyson will end his Army career in February 2009. After that, he is considering starting his own private security firm in either Casper or Cheyenne. Their first choice is Casper.

"Casper's home," Jamie says.

Tyson adds, "And it's not too far from the outdoors" where they family likes to go four-wheeling, fishing, and shooting.

After meeting the Dennis family, I can't help but think of the many other great Americans who now serve and have served our country since its founding in 1776. In that century, they fought for our independence. In the next century, they fought each other but somehow preserved our nation. In the century after that, they defended the world against totalitarian governments bent on conquering the world. And now, in this century, they're fighting global terrorism. And the families left at home work diligently to preserve the family left at home and to make it a sanctuary for their returning heroes.

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