In the Spring of 2007, Lieutenant Commander Christopher V. Phan, Judge Advocate General’s Corps, USN was deployed with the US Navy SEAL to Iraq. He and several of the SEALs were trying to arrange a flight out of Baghdad when Lieutenant Colonel Tho V. Nguyen, USA, overheard LCDR Phan speaking at the reservation counter. The men struck up a conversation on the air field and made a commitment that they would stay in touch upon redeployment to the States.
True to their words, LCDR Phan and LTC Nguyen remained friends after their deployment. They both knew and experienced the loneliness of serving overseas in harm’s way and being far from their families. They wanted to establish an association in order to assist all Vietnamese American service members and their families to cope with the separation and loneliness.
LCDR Phan and LTC Nguyen, along with Sergeant Thao Bui, USA, Captain Triet Bui, USA, and Captain Hien Vu, USAF, met at CPT Bui’s home and began drafting the by-laws and articles of association for the Vietnamese American Armed Forces Association (VAAFA) on August 23, 2008.
VAAFA received official recognition from the State of California on September 15, 2008. The association held its installation banquet on May 31, 2009. VAAFA’s membership is growing and the association hopes to reach and serve all Vietnamese American service members, their families, and the Vietnamese American community.
On September 2014, the association has changed its name to Vietnamese American Uniformed Services Association (VAUSA) to include the two non-combatant arms of the Uniformed Services – USPHSCC and NOAAC. We are 1,200+ members strong as of May 2018.
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