Photo of USTDC courtesy of Les Duffin

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Without Looking Back

A gentleman from Taiwan left a comment here at the blog yesterday. He said he was surprised to see that we who served in Taiwan were so fond of the place. He said, "We Taiwanese used to think you left without looking back at us."

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.



Anonymous said...

Don, anonymous "11-year-old" here. Really not much to add to my last post. It was just sad to lose (native) friends because of adults. However, I understood. If I think of anything noteworthy, I'll e-mail you.
Anyway, regarding this post, I still look back and think that those two years may have been some of the best of my life. The freedom I was allowed when I was there...amazing. The experiences for a child... Eyes wide open, man.

Cliffy said...

Thanks for looking back Don...

Anonymous said...

I loved it there and it was the most formative years of my life!!I was 10 and left at 16!! I grew up fast . My father ran the Officers club annex only for top brass. We still have autographed memoralbilia from Chiang Kai Chek to my father Seargent Major Valley I am Frank and my sister was Marcy, and Monica cheerleaders at TAS and in Delta Alpha Gamma Sorority. My mom was soloist at St Christophers Church and did the leads at Club 63 for Sound of Music, Oklahoma, South Pacific . We were the kids in the plays

Don said...

Two comments from "Anonymous" have been unceremoniously dumped by the blog owner. A previous warning to "Anonymous" to mind his/her manners as a guest here apparently did not register.

Perhaps he/she is a bit too "insulated" to understand.