S.R.Claridge writes Mystery and Romantic Suspense novels. Her work has been said to have the energy of Dan Brown, the mystery of Mary Higgins Clark and the humor of Janet Evanovich. Claridge novels will take you to the edge of your seat, keep you guessing until the very end and ultimately warm your heart. It is on the pages of every S.R.Claridge novel that Mystery and Sensual Suspense collide.

For more information on bookings, interviews and upcoming releases, please visit the author website and Facebook fan page.

Monday, January 17, 2011


SPOTLIGHT MILITARY FAMILY:    Mike & Ruth Dickmeyer  (Kansas)
It is with great pleasure that I introduce Mike and Ruth to you on this MILITARY MONDAY segment.  Mike and Ruth are not only my previous neighbors, but they are wonderful people and dear friends.
Before we hear what Mike and Ruth have written, I want to share a memory of the day Mike came home from his first tour of duty.  It is a moment I will never forget. 
Our street knew from Ruth when Mike would arrive and that morning neighbors lined their yards and filled the cul-de-sac with flags.  The children on our street colored and painted signs to welcome him.  As the hour neared we all excitedly waited, watching the top of the street for Ruth’s car.  When it finally appeared the kids jumped on their bikes or ran and followed Mike and Ruth down the street to their home, cheering and applauding. 
Neighbors, like me, soaked it all in, with teary eyes and goose bumps … thankful he had returned safely, grateful for the service and sacrifice Mike and Ruth were making for our freedom, and reminded of the thousands of families who earnestly await the homecoming of their loved ones.

I am SFC Mike Dickmeyer (Medical Platoon Seargant) and my last time deployed to Afghanistan was spent in two roles throughout the year:  one was running an Aid station in Mehter Lam for the Unit and the other was in Jalalabad moving needed equipment in and out of the country.
The Unit I was with was a small Agriculture and Development Team that was the first in our Province.  We met with local Elders and Farmers, and used some of their old world technology mixed with a little of ours, to help raise better livestock and crops.
Typical day and nights would vary depending on whether or not we had missions traveling outside our Bases.  In our downtime, we would use the Gym, watch movies or work on Distance Learning Courses offered through sometimes sporadic Internet connections. 
Phone calls with family and loved ones were always a highlight for me, as it would temporarily take my brain to another place.  Keeping busy was always important to me because it would make the time go faster, and each day was one day closer to going home.  ~

I am Mike’s wife, Ruth, and this is my perspective and how I handled Mike being gone. 
Mike was deployed twice. His second deployment was a little easier because we knew more of what to expect.  Also, we knew far in advance which helped in getting things in order.  But... no matter what, it is still very hard to say goodbye, knowing you will not see them for a long time and having the awareness that they are in harms way.  I have always felt for the families that have children in which it becomes much more complex. 
The advice I would give to other families and to loved ones for the first and all deployments is first of all take care of yourself and your family in all forms- Physically, Emotionally, Spiritually, Mentally.   You do not want to make it worse by having lifestyle behaviors that will cause more stress for you and your family.   
Second, do not be afraid to ask for help.   Mike and I have had such a great support system with our wonderful neighbors, friends and family members and even my coworkers.  We feel very blessed.  Do not hesitate to ask for help when you need it.  We have found that most people really do want to help you.  
Lastly, take advantage of the military support systems in place and accept all the support you are given. 
There is one more thing that helped Mike and I tremendously during his deployment. We figured out ways to communicate while he was there.  Technology is amazing now, so take advantage of it and include the entire family.     
I also want to extend A Big Thanks to all the loved ones in the military and your contributions to keep us free and to all the soldiers who fight for us everyday.  ~

Thank you Mike and Ruth for sharing your experience, perspective and advice; and thank you, most of all, for your sacrifice and service.  It is because of families like you that we are able to proclaim “One nation, under God, with Liberty and Justice for all.”
If you know someone serving in our military, remember to take a moment and extend your gratitude.  Whether at the grocery store, shopping mall, church, school, airport or on your neighborhood street, stop and utter a simple “thank you.”   
We cannot fathom the sacrifices they make for our safety and freedom.  They put their entire lives on hold to fight for us.  They miss their kid’s ballgames and dance recitals.  They don’t get to kiss their spouse goodnight at bedtime, nor wake up being snuggled and held.  Some don’t know if they’ll even live to see the next day.  They put their dreams on the back burner so that we would have the freedom to pursue ours.  They give all of their body, their emotions and their minds to the mission at hand.  Their wives, husbands, fathers, mothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, brothers, cousins, nieces, nephews, grandparents, and friends miss them, long for them and pray every day for their safe return.  I urge you to join them in those prayers, to fly your flag in recognition of every soldier giving up their daily freedoms to defend ours… to recognize and honor them at every turn… as the true American hero.   ~

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