I think most of us who served there were deeply disappointed with the diplomacy shift by the Carter administration. Rear Admiral Linder was the last Commander of the US Taiwan Defense Command and was also the last US military person to depart from Taiwan in 1979. Twenty years later, the admiral spoke at the Taiwan Relations Conference held in Los Angeles, California. The Voice of America reported on the conference, including this comment from Admiral Linder:
We had a lot of discontent [from the people of Taiwan], and the people were very unhappy and presumed that we were going to go away and they were going to be in deep trouble. And we sort of felt the same way.In retrospect, I suppose none of us should have been surprised. The administrations of Presidents Nixon, Ford and Carter all cozied up to what we used to call "Red China." But of course the final blow to our strong ties with Taiwan took place during Carter's administration, almost without warning.
Yes we have very fond memories of our time in Taiwan. We looked back with sadness when the US government decided to leave there. Thirty years later, many of us are still looking back.