An ex-monk, Thanh Thach of Cambodia, was delivering pizza in Richmond, California on November 26th when he was gunned down by unknown assailants. He leaves a wife, Eng Heng, owner of a nail salon in San Anselmo, California and a U.S. citizen since the mid-90s, and three sons. His story reads like the dark side of the American dream, the ferocious struggle to get by in this country:

Thach, who earned his U.S. citizenship in September, had recently lost his job as a mail handler at the U.S. Postal Service center in West Oakland and had been delivering pizzas for about a month. He had earned his manicurist license.

How much is said in those quiet sentences.

HOW TO HELP Pizza Hut has established a Thanh Thach memorial fund. Contributions can be made at any Bank of America branch office, Account No. 0478766625. Donations or toys for the family can also be dropped off at the Pizza Hut franchise at 11775 San Pablo Ave. in El Cerrito. Also, a $20,000 reward is being offered for information leading to those responsible for the killing. Anyone with information can call Richmond police Detective Eric Haupt at 510-620-6622 or the anonymous tip line at 510-232-8477.

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