RT Cunningham


1983 - The Fourth Year of the Crazy Eighties - Living Dangerously

1983 - crazy eightiesThere were so many things that affected me, personally, in 1983 that it’s probably impossible to mention them all.

I was stationed in Hawaii at the time, but I spent less than six months there. The rest of the year was spent aboard a U.S. Navy ship (except for the port of calls).

Happenings in 1983

Movies Released in 1983

The only movie I’m positive I watched in a theater was “Return of the Jedi”. I watched it with another Marine at a Chinese theater in Hong Kong, complete with Chinese subtitles.

I’m sure there were many more that I just don’t remember.


I watched very little television while I was stationed in Hawaii. The only series I remember from that year is “The A-Team”. I didn’t start watching the rest of them until 1984-1985. I may have watched others but I can’t say I watched them in 1983.

Music Released in 1983

I spent a lot of time listening to music in various clubs in multiple countries. Those countries were port of calls, mostly liberty ports lasting less than a week. The only port of calls that were longer were the stops in the Philippines, first and last on the voyage. I met my future wife on the first stop.

I’m sure there were many more. I don’t want to think about it - my head already hurts.

So Much Going On

Honestly, I simply can’t remember everything. There were some things that happened in 1983 that I didn’t know about until 1984 or 1985. All the time I spent aboard the ship, but not at port of calls, is nothing but hazy memories. Even the port of calls aren’t clear memories. The ship stopped in the Philippines, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand and Kenya. I was bedridden with the flu during the Thailand stop - I didn’t see anything.

Unlike many of the Marines and Sailors on the ship, the USS Tarawa, I wasn’t looking for a good time every time we stopped. I met my future wife the first time we stopped in the Philippines. I wasn’t interested in finding any other companions after that.

I lived in an apartment in Kailua, next to the Marine Corps base, shortly after the deployment was over. It’s probably less than an hour drive from where I’m living today (temporarily, of course). I lived there until I was transferred to Yuma (again) in 1984.

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By RT Cunningham
August 14, 2019
United States