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        First Days Stories: Emily Dinh and Tan Dinh

        Tan Dinh tells his 14-year-old daughter Emily about his family's escape from Vietnam by boat when he was 13 in this media gallery (audio, personal photos) produced for the American Experience First Days Story Project. Tan arrived in America excited but apprehensive. Thanks to helpful neighbors, a local pastor, and people at the middle school he attended, he was introduced to American culture and learned the English language. Today, Tan remains grateful to them and to the country that provided him and other political refugees shelter. He also hopes that his daughter will not take for granted the rights and the privilege she has being an American. Produced by StoryCorps for the WGBH American Experience First Days Story Project, part of the outreach and engagement initiative for the film, "Last Days in Vietnam." This resource is part of the American Experience: Last Days in Vietnam Collection.

        Find out more at the project's website.

        Audio Story - "I feel blessed to be able to live on American soil"

        Tan Dinh tells his 14-year-old daughter Emily about his family's escape from Vietnam by boat when he was 13 in this media gallery (audio, personal photos) produced for the American Experience First Days Story Project.

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        Photo 1

        Plaque commemorating the escape from Vietnam.

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        Photo 2

        Tan Dinh while visiting West Point in 1982.

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        Photo 3

        This family picture was taken in the fall of 1982, about a year after arriving in Albany, New York, on August 21, 1981. Tan Dinh is in first row, left. Tan’s parents (Phuoc Dinh and Nga Nguyen) are standing in the middle. The picture was taken in a rental house, located at 29 Stephen Street, Albany, New York.

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        Photo 4

        Tan Dinh at his graduation from UCLA Law School in May 1997. To his right is Samantha, his then girlfriend and now wife. To his left is Howard L. Sanger, Tan’s former boss, who served as a Captain in the U.S. Army in Vietnam, 1967-1969.

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        Photo 5

        Visiting Washington, D.C. as part of the family road trip around the U.S. in the summer of 2008. In the picture are: Tan, Samantha (wife), Emily and Derek.

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        Photo 6

        Emily during a Washington, D.C. visit in summer 2008.

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        Photo 7

        Family gathering in northern California, Thanksgiving Day 2009. Tan’s parents are sitting in the middle.

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        Photo 8

        Recent family outing, San Francisco, August 2014. In the picture are: Tan, wife Samantha, Emily and Derek.

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        Photo 9

        Tan usually visits U.S. military cemeteries during Veterans Days and Memorial Days. This picture was taken on Memorial Day, May 26, 2014, while visiting Golden Gate National Cemetery.

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