My parents, 2019
My family came to United States as refugees of the Vietnam War in 1975. I was born a year later.
They were sponsored by a Lutheran Church in Belmont, California. The kind hearts at that church helped my family land on their feet. They helped my dad get a job at an engineering firm, and helped my mom learn English. My parents moved to Newark, CA in 1980 and were able to buy a house and raise my three older sisters and me there; in a lot of ways, the “American Dream.”
Although US participation in the war was understandably controversial, my family would not have had the life that we had if it weren't for American support of the South Vietnamese people.
My dad ended spending most of his years working as a civil engineer for the state department of transportation. My mom worked as an assembly technician for most of her life, but somehow worked her way up into a computer engineering position before she retired. They've both been retired for well over a decade now.
In spring of 2017, my father had a benign tumor the size of a baseball removed from his brain cavity. Although he was expected to make a full recovery, he has lost most of his mobility and his cognitive ability has clearly suffered.
This is what every morning has been like after he was able to come home from the care and rehabilitation center.