Photo of USTDC courtesy of Les Duffin

Friday, January 11, 2008

Life In And Around The HSA Compound

George Dean wrote me today about his time with the Headquarters Support Activity (HSA) in Taipei:

I was stationed at HSA (Headquarters Support Activity) in the West Compound and served as a Navy YN3 between 1965 and 1967. My home was the barracks across the street in the East Compound, so that meant I had to cross Chung Shan North Road several times daily. I remember the strange local guys trying to lure us with "hey joe" or whatever and we basically ignored them. You will never see this now if you've been back to Taipei lately.

We hung out in the East Compound at the Theater, and spent a lot of time at Club 63 and the Linkou Club Annex just outside the compound gate. What a life changing experience that was. I learned some basic Mandarin, made many wonderful friends, and eventually earned an MA degree in Chinese Language at San Francisco State in 1974. I married a local girl and now my son is grown and also speaks Mandarin.

It's really ironic that all we heard back then was complaints about this and that, and now we are all old guys looking back with fond memories of our service time in Taipei!!

George Dean

1 comment:

Kent Mathieu - Taipei Air Station said...

You're right about then and now regarding complaints. It's all about age and wisdom. When you're young, the grass is always greener over there; when you're old, the grass was always greener back then.
But, Taiwan was such a wonderful place that few today can remember anything to complain about. They may have moaned and groaned while there, but not today. Most people who take time to write, inevitably remark that their sojourn in Taiwan was the best and most rewarding assignment of their military career. They forget about those times of complaining, and realize how fortunate they were being in Taiwan. I agree, Taiwan was the best of the best, without exception, PERIOD!