France Hoang was not quite two years old, and his sister was barely two months old, when his parents were forced to flee the Republic of Vietnam. His father was an officer in the Army of the Republic of Vietnam and his mother worked for the U.S. Naval Attaché.
One day, her boss told her they had to leave the country immediately. Her husband was faced with a dilemma; flee the country with his wife and two children, or remain and face an uncertain future. After a harrowing incident at the airport in Saigon, the family flew to Guam, and after a brief period of processing, were transported to Camp Pendleton, California.
Governor Dan Evans of Washington welcomed the Vietnamese refugees with open arms, and the Hoang family was sponsored by the Petersons, eventually moving to Tumwater, Washington. Watch to this great interview with the West Point Center for Oral History.