Last Saturday, I witnessed first-hand another chapter in an American success story.
After 32 years on the night shift at Foothill High, Dan Diep retired as a custodian. That’s right, he’s worked the night shift for his entire employment with the Pleasanton school district.
My church, Centerpointe (then Pleasanton Presbyterian Community Church) sponsored Dan and his family to come to the United States from Viet Nam. That included an apartment in the development off of Foothill Road between Bernal and Castlewood drives as well as lots of tutoring and support.
It was enlightening to hear their son, Dan, call my late parents “grandma and grandpa” and talk about enjoying our family swimming pool. My mom took the family under her wing and spent lots of hours working to teach them English.
They eventually bought a home in the Springtown neighborhood of Livermore (where the party took place on Saturday) and Anh landed a job at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory that she holds to this day (she didn’t take the early out). They since have bought a retirement home in Tracy and their daughter and her husband now are living in the Springtown home.
The jobs were relatively low-level, but they were diligent and worked hard so they have held them for more than 30 years each.
My brother, Rich, stayed connected because he saw Anh at the Lawrence Livermore library. For the rest of us, their diligence in reaching out was remarkable. Anh contacted me many weeks ago and I helped guide her on where people were now living. She worked hard to bring back folks from the 1980s who were instrumental in her family’s move to Pleasanton.
Among those she contacted was the Rev. Dan White, the associate pastor at Pleasanton Presbyterian at the time, who drove over from Marin County to celebrate on Saturday. It was the first time I’ve seen him in more than 25 years.
It is a wonderful success story of local Christians reaching out to help Vietnamese family relocate here to escape the Communists and then see them flourish.