Duong Phuc and Vu Thanh Thuy were both award-winning war correspondents of South Vietnam.
Duong Phuc covered the war from 1968-1975. He was among the first delegates to Hanoi to cover the release of American POWs in 1973 and become a senior presidential reporter of the Republic of Vietnam.
Vu Thanh Thuy was a journalist covering the Vietnam War from 1970 and one of a few war correspondents during the Vietnam War awarded the Silver Star for Valor in 1971.
Through years of turmoil and political imprisonment after South Vietnam fell under communism in 1975, the couple became fugitives living underground for two years and fled Vietnam by boat. Facing atrocities at seas as refugee boat people, including being captivated fpr 21-days by sea pirates on a deserted island in the Gulf of Thailand, Vu Thanh Thuy and Duong Phuc broke the story of the “boat people” to the world and made international headlines when they joined the Boat People SOS Committee and multi-nation efforts to personally rescue thousands of refugee boat people drifting in the South China Sea in the 80s and 90s.
For their humanitarian contributions, Phuc and Thuy were recognized with featured stories in national media such as Time, Elle, Ms. Magazine; USA Today, New York Times, Los Angeles Times and television news magazines such as ABC’s “20/20,” CBS’s “Nighwatch” and CNN’s “Sonya Live.” The couple has also received numerous national and international awards (see attached awards’ list).
Resettle in America in 1980, Phuc worked in the research-study field with the University of California at San Diego and in the refugee service providing organizations while Thuy went back to journalism at the San Diego Union-Tribune for 12 years before relocating to Houston.
Phuc and Thuy founded Radio Saigon Houston KREH 900 AM in 1999 to engage, unite and empower the voices of Houston’s Vietnamese community. Their determination and vision turned an operation of five employees into a corporation that now employs 35 staff members and 70 contributing programmers, making Radio Saigon Houston 900 AM the leading Asian station in Texas.
Radio Saigon Houston's popular programs are simulcast to many other Vietnamese communities in the United States and Canada and has won several "Asian Entrepreneur" Awards by Houston Chamber of Commerce (2002), U.S. Pan Asian Chamber of Commerce (2005) and the National Entrepreneur Magazine (2006).
Under their management, Radio Saigon Houston expanded to include Saigon Directory (January 2002), Saigon Weekly News (October 2006), Radio Saigon Dallas – KRVA 1600 AM (November 2007) and Saigon Network Television SGN-TV 51.3 (September 2011).
VU THANH THUY
- Journalist/War Correspondent, The Voice of Freedom, Vietnam (69-75)
- Radio Broadcaster, Songkhla Refugee Camp, Thailand (1979-1980)
- Instructional Aide, San Diego City College, CA (1981-1982)
- Psycho-Social Counselor, Linda Vista Center, San Diego, CA (82-85)
- Editorial Assistant & TV Listing Editor, San Diego Union, CA (85-97)
- Founder/CEO: Radio Saigon Houston & Dallas, Saigon Weekly, Saigon Directory, Saigon Network Television, Houston, TX (1999 - current)
- Speaker, BPSOS Committee, San Diego, CA (1980-1989)
- Rescue Mission, French Helicopter carrier Jeanne d’Arc (1988)
- “A Mission of Mercy” profile on ABC News “20/20,”USA (1989)
- Board Member, American Red Cross, Houston, TX (2001-2012)
- Thought Leader, Images & Voices of Hope, New York, TX (2006-present)
- Senior Fellow, American Leadership Forum, Houston, TX (2006-present)
- Board Member, New American Media, San Francisco, CA (2008-2015)
- Board Member, International Management District, Houston, TX (2008-present)
- Mission Trips: Haiti Earthquake (2006), Japan Tsunami (2010), Thailand Tsunami (2012), Philippines Yolanda Typhoon (2014), Cambodia child-sex mission (2015).
- “1971 Silver Star,” Army of the Republic of Vietnam
- “1972 Best War Report,” Psycho War, Saigon, VN
- “1985 Poster Woman,” San Diego City Schools, CA
- “1987 21 st Century Woman Award,” National Organization for Women, NY
- “1988 Médaille of Honor,” Freedom Foundation, Valley Forge, PA
- “1988 Woman of the Year & Headliner”, San Diego Press Club, CA
- “Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters,” Marist College, NY (1988)
- “1989 Joseph Prize,” Human Rights Award, Hebrew Union College, Israel-NY
- “1993 Woman of Achievement,” June Burnett Institute, SDSU, CA
- “1996 Woman of Honor,” Women Together Foundation, San Diego, CA
- “1997 Person of Quality,” San Diego Union, San Diego, CA
- “25 Vietnamese Americans of 25 Years,” New Horizon, UCLA, CA (2000)
- “2002 Woman in Media Award,” Asian Houston Network, Houston. TX
- “2002 Entrepreneur of the Year,” Asian Chamber of Commerce, Houston
- “2004 Asian Entrepreneur,” Asian Entrepreneur Magazine, Las Vegas, Nevada
- “2006 We the People’s Vision Award,” International Channel, TX
- “2006 Asian Business Leadership,” U. S. Pan Asian Chamber of Commerce, D.C.
- “2006 Lifetime Achievement,” Asian-American Journalists Association, Hawaii
- “2008 Houston Women’s Hall of Fame Induction,” Women’s Chamber of Commerce, Houston, TX
- War Correspondent, The Voice of Saigon, Saigon (1968 – 1969)
- News Editor, Voice of the Army, Saigon (1969-1973)
- Member of the Four-sided Military Committee and the delegation to witness the release of first American POWs, Hanoi, North Vietnam (1973)
- Presidential Correspondent, The Voice of the Army (1974-1975)
- Political Prisoner at Trang Lon, Phu Quoc, Long Giao communist concentration camps, Vietnam (1975-1977)
- Prison Escapee and Fugitive, Saigon, South Vietnam (1977-1979)
- Radio Broadcaster, Songkhla Refugee Camp, Thailand (1979-1980)
- Staff Research Associate, University of California, San Diego, (1981-1985)
- Youth Delinquent Counselor, Refugee Service, San Diego, California (1986-1997)
- Founder/President, Mass Media Inc. - Radio Saigon Houston 900 AM, Houston, Texas (1997-current)
- Founder/Board of Directors, Saigon Network Television, Houston. Texas (2011-current)
- Speaker, BPSOS Committee, San Diego, California (1980-1989)
- Rescue Mission, Mary Kingstown ship, Philippines (1986)
- Rescue Mission II, Cap Anamur ship II, Singapore (1988)
- Mission Trips: Katrina Hurricane (2005), Haiti Earthquake (2006), Japan Tsunami (2010), Thailand Tsunami (2012), Philippines Yolanda Typhoon (2014), Cambodia child sex mission (2015).
- “1972 Best Soldier,” Psycho War, Saigon, South Vietnam
- “Bronze Star of Valor,” Lam Son 719 battlefield, Laos, Army of the Republic of Vietnam (1971)
- “Silver Star,” An Lộc Battlefield, Army of the Republic of Vietnam (1972)
- “1987 Sigma delta Chi Award for Excellence in Journalism,” Society of Professional Journalists, California
- “2002 Entrepreneur Award,” Asian Chamber of Commerce, Houston, TX
- “2002 Community Service Award,” Houston Police Department, Texas
- “2002 Media Service Award,” Houston City College, Texas
- “2004 Asian Business Leadership Award,” U.S. Pan Asian Chamber of Commerce, Washington D.C.
- “2004 Asian Entrepreneur of the Year,” Asian Entrepreneur Magazine, Las Vegas, Nevada
- “2004 We the People’s Vision Award,” International Channel, TX
- “2006 Lifetime Achievement,” Asian American Journalists Association, Hawaii