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When you first meet Tom Ridenour you are aware that he is an accomplished man, He has the demeanor of a military man, he moves and talks with the authority and a confidence that comes from meeting fear and challenges head on, and coming out on top. Tom has led the sort of life that would make an excellent adventure novel in its own right!
Thomas L Ridenour was born and raised in a small farming community in Southeastern Ohio. His early life was agrarian and centered on the small village where he lived. He enjoyed hunting, fishing and participating in high school sports and
like many farm kids, he was active in the 4-H, worked in the hay fields in the summer and looked forward to the county fair each year. His early life was that of a rural Midwestern farming community.
Tom was blessed with a household full of books and would pounce on the monthly issue of National Geographic Magazine as soon as it arrived in the mail, He would eagerly read the magazine cover to cover and as a boy, it would take him to far off places filled with wonder.
Tom would listen wide eyed to his father and uncle tell stories of their experiences in the South Pacific in WWII and Europe in WWII. These stimuli fired Tom’s imagination and he grew up with a deep desire to travel and see the world; the seeds of Tom’s wanderlust were sewn deep.
That wanderlust and his desire for adventure were motivations that influenced his life and carried Tom to over 60 countries; he has lived in the Middle East, Oceania, Asia and Europe.
Those afflicted, or blessed, with wanderlust are usually also afflicted with a desire for adventure. This was certainly the case with Tom. He graduated from High School at the age of 17 and went directly to College. He made gentleman's "C's" but lacked specific goals and direction and, forsaking his draft deferment, he dropped out of school, joined the military and volunteered for duty in Vietnam.
Military life suited Tom well and he stayed in the military for 11 years. While serving on active duty, Tom earned his Bachelor's Degree in International Affairs from Florida State University and did post graduate work in Instructional Systems Design.
However, the post-Vietnam wartime military was a toothless tiger to and sank into tedium. He left the service an took a job as a training adviser with the Saudi Arabian Air Force in Jeddah.
Tom always loved the ocean and used the money he earned in Saudi Arabia to buy a small sail boat. Tom then took a year off work to cruise the Caribbean. Once again, the combination of adventure and travel reinvigorated Tom and the salt water got into his veins.
Not being one to do things by halves, Tom Ridenour became a licensed captain, feeling that; "A bad day on the water is better than a great day in the office." Who can’t argue with that?
Once qualified as a captain, Tom became part owner and captain of a dive charter yacht in Bali, Indonesia and captained live-aboard dive expeditions to Komodo Island.
Tom has, as have many successful, worked in many jobs during his journey. Tom has been a stockbroker, teacher, ship captain, car salesman, consultant, laborer, carpenter, and school bus driver. He was the Director of Maritime Operations for Blackwater USA and served on the Maritime Security Council in Washington DC was a guest speaker at numerous events regarding piracy, terrorism and maritime security.
For now, Tom now calls Bangkok, Thailand home and is the Coordinator of the English program for a private language school located on the campus of a major university there and he is a member of the Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand.
As you can see, Tom still enjoys traveling and still possesses those itchy feet that have sent him around the globe many times.
Tom Ridenour strives for technical accuracy in his writing and to this end, his books are infused with his personal life and experiences. Tom draws on his adventures while travelling the globe and his expertise as a military man to bring a sense of realism to his books. It is often said that a good story is based on truth. This is true of Tom Ridenour’s fiction which is firmly supported by history, geographical accuracy, and Tom’s life experiences.