Episode 2507 of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast will feature a story about Cuong Pham the Vietnamese refugee, who shows how it is done. The featured story comes from Market Watch and is titled: The story of a former Vietnam refugee who went on to become an Apple engineer and a fish sauce entrepreneur.
The story was submitted by Deborah L. Jacobs. She is a lawyer, entrepreneur and award-winning journalist, is a former senior editor at Forbes. She is the author of “Four Seasons in a Day: Travel, Transitions and Letting Go of the Place We Call Home” and “Estate Planning Smarts: A Practical, User-Friendly, Action-Oriented Guide.”
When communist oppression became too much to bear after the take over in May of 1975 Pham made a harrowing escape on a leaky boat out of Vietnam. After three terrifying weeks at sea, with not enough food and the unrelenting threat of attack by pirates, the jam-packed boat reached Malaysia. Pham spent nine months at the United Nations-run Pulau Bidong refugee camp before he was allowed to go to the U.S.
It would be more than 10 years before, bit by bit, his family was reunited. His grandmother and one sister, who escaped in 1984, died at sea. Pham returned to Vietnam five years later to process the paperwork for his mother and another sister to legally immigrate to the U.S. They arrived in 1990.
By then Pham had earned a degree in management information systems at San Jose State. He was also married — to a young woman named Ann who he’d eyed at the refugee camp, and subsequently met in California. They were among the nearly two million people to escape Vietnam after the war.
Listen to episode 2507 and discover more about Cuong Pham the Vietnamese refugee, who shows how it is done.