02/08/18 3:56pm
ANNETTE HINKLE PHOTO | Army veteran James Colligan, and former Marines Michael (Zack) Mundy and Tom Spotteck rehearse for The Telling Project, which will be offered at Sag Harbor’s Bay Street Theater on February 16.

ANNETTE HINKLE PHOTO | Army veteran Jim Colligan, and former Marines Michael (Zack) Mundy and Tom Spotteck rehearse for The Telling Project, which will be offered at Sag Harbor’s Bay Street Theater on February 16.

(This is Part I of a two-part series and ran in the February 8, 2018 edition of the Reporter.  The second installment will appear in the February 15, 2018 edition.)

The stories of the men and women who deploy with the military are as varied as the individuals themselves and the conflicts in which they serve.

But often the issues and intricacies of military life are not something that people outside the armed services can easily understand. Enter The Telling Project, a national non-profit organization that brings the experience of veterans to the stage in order to deepen civilian understanding of the military and its personnel. Since 2014, the Joseph J. Theinert Memorial Fund (JJTMF), which was created in honor of 1st Lt. Theinert after he was killed in action in Afghanistan in 2010, has been partnering with The Telling Project to put local veterans and Gold Star family members in front of East End audiences to share their stories. (more…)

03/04/11 3:36pm
Tom’s mom, Jane Roberts-Spotteck, sister Nina, and niece Mackenzie welcome Tom back from his tour in Afghanistan last summer.

REPORTER FILE PHOTO | Tom’s mom, Jane Roberts-Spotteck, sister Nina, and niece Mackenzie welcome Tom back from his tour in Afghanistan last summer.

You can see Shelter Island’s Marine Corporal Tom Spotteck and his company fighting in Afghanistan in an HBO documentary titled “The Battle for Marjah.”

Directed by embedded journalist Ben Anderson, the documentary follows Bravo Company in February 2010 through “Operation Mashtarak,” which was the largest military operation since the start of the war in Afghanistan. The operation was a highly risky effort to liberate the strategically vital town of Marjah.

Corporal Spotteck described Marjah as the Taliban’s headquarters in southern Helmand province. “We dropped dead center into the middle of the city and tried to clear out the Taliban,” he explained. The operation was particularly risky because the soldiers’ nearest military support was three days away, he said.

When asked about the documentary’s portrayal of the situation on the ground in Afghanistan, Corporal Spotteck explained, “To be honest, I was really impressed with the way [Anderson] did it. He showed what politicians and the high-up generals that were located in the States said about how the war was going, and then he showed what was actually happening on the ground, to kind of give the comparison.”

Tom Spotteck returned safely from his second deployment in Afghanistan on August 2, 2010.

The remaining showings of the documentary can be seen as folllows:


• Fri 3/11 2:10AM – 3:35AM, CH 301 HBOS
• Fri 3/11 5:10AM – 6:35AM, CH 308 HSW
It is also available on HBO “On Demand” until March 13; it premiered February 17.