On Jan. 15, 1968, San Francisco native Thomas Rinaldi, lower right, kneeling, posed with Company Commander J.W. Prior to joining the Star in 2006, he worked for the Lake County Record-Bee, the Clear Lake Observer American, the Middletown Times Star and The Weekly Calistogan. Tom Rinaldi has been a national correspondent at ESPN since 2002. This is your alma mater. Kathy Rinaldi-Stunkel (born March 24, 1967) is a former professional American tennis player, who retired in September 1997. He got a foot infection, though, and washed out. Today, he’s not sure why he signed up to serve in the Navy, but 50 years ago, his motivation was much the same as those who served in the military during World War II – “to beat the Japs, get rid of the Nazis, and get rid of the (Vietnam) war.”, It was only much later that Rinaldi realized Vietnam “was not a winnable war. The trip marked the 50th anniversary of Rinaldi’s first deployment. “The brothers banged on my door, knocked it in and told me to get my ass out of here,” Rinaldi said. If you've binged every available episode of the hit Disney Plus series, then we've got three picks to keep you entertained. In March 2010, he conducted the first interview with Tiger Woods, after the one-car accident in front of Woods’ home four months earlier, and the resulting scandal and implosion of his personal life. He has contributed to ESPN's golf coverage, SportsCenter, Outside the Lines, College GameDay and Sunday NFL Countdown. They would stare at screens, sweeping 300 miles, spotting boat traffic and air traffic, including surface-to-air missiles. His event assignments include working the sidelines at the College Football Playoff … In addition, Rinaldi has covered the Super Bowl, the World Series, the Final Four, the Preakness and Belmont Stakes, the Breeders’ Cup, and the Olympics. He lives in New Jersey with his wife Dianne, their son Jack, and daughter Tessa. “You did not want to land in China, because if you didn’t make it, you disappeared in China. To the end that all navy men may meet those demands of naval service, they participate in a physical training program that involved strenuous physical exertion, instruction in swimming and sea survival, and instruction in first aid, lifesaving and personal hygiene.". Check out some of the IMDb editors' favorites movies and shows to round out your Watchlist. Kelley, Rd1 and Petty Officers at the United States Naval Training Center in San Diego. He ended up in Memphis at the Naval Air and Technical Training Command, where he learned avionics. He also works the sidelines during NBA regular and post-season games for the network. The heaviest fighting is around Saigon, but fights rage all over South Vietnam. Some 150,000 Americans were seriously wounded. St. Helenan Tom Rinaldi visits Vietnam 50 years after his first deployment. and 'She heard him call out to everyone," Gerry said. But since he needed both parents’ signatures, it took a bit of doing to convince his mom. Their task was to take the black boxes out of the plane and take them into the base to be updated and maintained. “Each of us had a couple of black boxes on our shoulders, we’re heading off the plane, heading to the base and a mortar round hits. On June 8, 1969, Nixon meets with South Vietnamese President Nguyen Van Thieu on Midway Island in the Pacific, and announces that 25,000 U.S. troops will be withdrawn immediately. Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device. Tom Rinaldi is a reporter for ESPN and ABC based in New York. The list of events he has covered, the range of stories he’s told, and the platforms and programs he serves, crosses the broadest spectrum of sports. This photo of "Physical Training" is from "The Anchor," the yearbook of the United States Naval Training Center in San Diego, where St. Helenan Tom Rinaldi attended boot camp after joining the U.S. Navy. Register or login now! “They didn’t tell me what was going on and they didn’t kill me, because I got along great with them (the blacks who lived in the apartment complex.) You could be there forever,” Rinaldi said. “I was a 17-year-old kid when I signed up in the Navy. Since joining ESPN in 2002, Tom Rinaldi has become one of ESPN’s most prominent correspondents and storytellers. In addition to his duties on live events, Rinaldi is known for his feature stories, which run on a variety of ESPN’s shows including College GameDay, E:60, SC Featured, Outside the Lines, and SportsCenter. Comedian Bob Hope and singer Phil Crosby, holding a "Make Love Not War" sign, open Hope's annual USO Christmas Show tour at Da Nang, Vietnam, with Raquel Welch and singer Barbara McNair, left, on Dec. 19, 1967. In April, the same month Rinaldi was deployed to Vietnam, U.S. combat deaths in Vietnam exceed the 33,629 men killed in the Korean War. The missions were 18 hours long, with two crews, each working two four-and-a-half hour shifts per mission. Editor’s note: This is the first of a two-part series. The piece won the Emmy for best short sports documentary in 2018, and sparked a meeting between Pratima and her idol, Tiger Woods. If there was a problem with the plane, crews were told to crash land in Haiphong, in North Vietnam. There was a problem saving your notification. Hell, we’re not even on the right side.”. He conducted the first sit-down interview with former Baylor coach Art Briles, after his dismissal as a result of the program’s sexual assault scandal in 2015, and in 2018, had the first in-depth interview with Urban Meyer, during his suspension from Ohio State for his handling of domestic abuse allegations against one of his assistant coaches. This is a part of you.' He lived in an apartment complex off the base. Subscribe today and stay up-to-date on important election coverage! “We’d be able to pinpoint where they were and we flew between Haiphong, Vietnam and Hainan, China,” he said. No credit card required. In all, he has been nominated in five separate Emmy categories, including writing, reporting, and feature storytelling, a total of more than 40 times. then {{format_dollars}}{{start_price}}{{format_cents}} per month. He also did features for the horse racing telecasts.Rinaldi joined ESPN in May 2003 following a four-year stint as a reporter for CNN/SI from 1998-2002. I got on my motorcycle and headed to the base,” he said, which is when he learned about the assassination. “A Mountain to Climb,” profiled Pratima Sherpa, from her time living in a shed on a golf course in Nepal to her quest to become to the first female professional golfer in her country’s history. “That was heavy.”. He was flying in an EC-121 “Super Constellation,” which was a four turbo-prop airplane with twin tip tanks on the wings, and three ailerons in the back. We feel the heat and the next thing you know, those guys are toast.”, The mortar rounds had been coming from a hillside adjacent to the airbase. In March and April, St. Helenans Tom and Beverly Rinaldi traveled from Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam to Angkor Wat in Cambodia. Among other honors, he has won 15 national Sports Emmy Awards and six national Edward R. Murrow Awards. In March 1973, the last American combat soldiers leave South Vietnam, though military advisers and Marines, who are protecting U.S. installations, remain. His event assignments include working the sidelines at the College Football Playoff National Semi-final and Championship games, and the Rose Bowl. This is my first day in Vietnam and it would’ve been Memorial Day, because I would’ve died.”, In a panic, he calls on the radio and says, “We’re taking fire.”. Born in Brooklyn, New York, he is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. In golf, he has covered all four majors for the better part of two decades, and is the network’s primary interviewer at the Masters. We pick up the pace a little bit and the next one is a little closer. They had me go back to high school to get my diploma – to grow up, if you will – and I had 90 days to get myself in good shape, get rid of my beard and long hair and study up for the (military) test. “We’ve got you covered,” came the reply. After boot camp, Rinaldi was in San Diego, where he was training to be a Navy SEAL. All my stuff was gone,” he said. {{start_at_rate}} {{format_dollars}} {{start_price}} {{format_cents}} {{term}}, {{promotional_format_dollars}}{{promotional_price}}{{promotional_format_cents}} {{term}}, Napa Valley Museum opens permanent exhibit honoring Veterans Home, St. Helenans Tom and Beverly Rinaldi take a river cruise through Southeast Asia. “We look out of the foxhole and these two (Douglas) A-4 attack planes drop napalm and they light up the whole hillside, which erupts in orange and black. “Those guys blew it,” Rinaldi said.