On his Recommendation, Dec 12, 1997, Dr. Robert M. Le Roy, Vincent Pham [Pham Van Ban] has been individually responsible for developing and implements a multi-cultural and multi-lingual disaster education program. His work is resulting in a published text on disaster preparedness that will be used not only in this community but also throughout Vietnam. He has provided his personal management and service leadership experience for the Red Cross and the Vietnamese community. His highly successful experience in the initiation and development of Red Cross programs has honed his skills as a top level citizen. His extensive and multiple areas of community involvement and interaction make him a front runner in contributing to the development of any program in which he is active. Vincent enjoys challenge and has the tenacity to work and solve unexpected problems. Further, he motivates others to develop their own capacity building skills as they contribute to the overall effort of a program.
As a self-starter and professional, Vincent Pham has earned the opportunity to use his talent and display his commitment to improving the quality of life for all through your program.
As the Executive Director of this Red Cross Chapter, I have been integrally involved in community disaster preparedness. Vincent and I have worked on the goals and direction of his Vietnamese community preparedness program.
Born Pham Van Ban on February 1, 1949, in Hai Hung, Vietnam, this man’s life has taken him from studies in law as a young man through a military career amidst a war and again into the realm of advanced studies.
After graduating from the University of Vietnam Law School in 1970, he started a military career. In 1970, he began as an Air Force Cadet and was sent to the United States for his flying training. In July 1974, he served as a fighter pilot in the 4th Air Force Division, Republic of Vietnam Air Force (VNAF).
After being downed in combat and captured, First Lieutenant Ban was sent to prison in Kien Giang on May 2, 1975. He suffered many hardships during seven years in prison camps in Vietnam. On May 2, 1982, exactly seven years after the day of his capture, he escaped from Vietnam. He repatriated himself and his family and fled by boat to a refugee camp in Thailand. During their escape from Vietnam, his twelve year old son was caught and imprisoned.
Between 1982 and 1984, he worked with the United Nations’ Save The Children Foundation in Indonesia. On August 10, 1984, Pham Van Ban and his family came to the United States and settled in Everett, Washington. Pham changed his name to Vincent Pham when he became a United States citizen in 1993 and worked to earmark money for his American education.
In the summer 1994, Vincent Pham entered Everett Community College and received an Associate of Sciences Degree in Political Science. Today, he is enrolled in the Human Services Program designed to lead to a Baccalaureate and Master degrees at Western Washington University, and at University of Phoenix. He has been accepted for the fall Doctoral of Education program at University of Washington.
Vincent’s continues his studies as he volunteers with the Red Cross. His volunteer efforts are centered on disaster preparedness for the Vietnamese community in Snohomish County. He has translated into Vietnamese and presented Red Cross materials to more than 100 fellow citizens.
His ties to his native country are ever present. He has recently completed a bi-lingual book on Hurricane Linda which brings preparedness and planning to the readers. On a personal note, Vincent’s struggles to maintain and reunite his family ongoing. This year Vincent hopes to bring his son, lost to the Communists in 1982, now married and living in Vietnam, to America. Vincent Pham’s constant efforts will result in a family reunion this summer.