"We knew it'd take a long time."
Leo Alonzo: Immigrated from Taiwan
In 1973, my father, Leo Alonzo, left his home in Taiwan when he was 7 years old, to come to live in California. Imagine how long it’d take to get to California from Taiwan. Imagine that. It’d only take a couple of hours, right? My father’s journey took longer than that prediction. The trip for him to get here took almost a month.
The reason why this journey took such a long time is that my father had to go to so many different places with his sister and parents just to get to California. He and his family couldn’t just buy a ticket to get to California. “We knew it’d take a long time. Because, well without any money or buying airline tickets, it would have been too tough and expensive to get to the United States with my family.” States Alonzo. So instead, Alonzo’s father created a different solution. See, he was a part of the navy for a long time, so he still had military benefits. One being, his family could fly on military planes if they had extra seating and go to wherever they wanted as long as there was a naval base, which is where they waited for the next flight. Sometimes, it’d take days to wait for the next flight. Imagine that. Imagine waiting for days as a 7-year-old to get a flight to get to a place that you probably didn’t even know existed.
My father had to endure that. He knew it’d take a long time to get to California even if the flight was for free. fly from Taiwan to Japan, to Guam, to Alaska, and then finally reach Texas after a month to then later drive all the way to California. Imagine that. Having to wait all that time. Having to use all your energy to get here. Having to go through all that effort. Just to get here.