For over 100 years, Massachusetts Maritime Academy has been preparing women and men for exciting and rewarding careers on land and sea. As the nation's finest co-ed maritime college, MMA challenges students to succeed by balancing a unique regimented lifestyle with a typical four-year college environment. As a member of the cadet corps you will live, study, sail, work and play in an atmosphere that encourages you to be your best.
It Takes A Village...
… and sometimes a few more. Captain Tom Bushy, retired 36 year MMA veteran, former Captain of the Academy’s training ships, first learned the fascinating tale of staff member Hung (Tom) Pham’s father, Quoc’s, life in the post Vietnam war chaos. Through conversations with Tom, Assistant Director, Academy Center for Renewal & Responsible Energy Center (CRRE), Bushy encouraged the father, Quoc, to write his story.
Eventually Quoc did write a short account of his harrowing experiences. After reading it, the Captain was convinced it needed to be investigated further and expanded. He handed the narrative to his twin brother, Dave Bushy, who met with Quoc and began a three and one half year process of writing, “The World Looked Away – Vietnam After the War: Quoc Pham’s Story”.
The Vietnam War ended on April 30, 1975. Millions of Vietnamese died and almost sixty thousand Americans. Dave Bush’s book tells the story of what happened after the country of South Vietnam ceased to exist.
“The book is a memoir of a man and his wife who struggled to survive nearly five years in the Reeducation Camps, the gulag of the New Economic Zone, and even assignment as a human mine detector on the Cambodian Border. The story culminates with Quoc’s harrowing escape into a storm with 55 people aboard a small boat into the East (South China) Sea. Even as an avid reader of history, I knew little about that period. I was honored to join with Quoc to learn about his story and to write it,” Dave Bushy noted.
Quoc was a trained mariner, having graduated from the Maritime Academy in Saigon. His knowledge and experience, combined with his service as a naval officer for South Vietnam, gave him the ability to plan and effect an escape into a raging storm in the South China Sea.
The scope of Bushy’s book is larger than just one man’s life history. It is a chronicle of what is possible. As Henry Wordsworth Longfellow once said, “A great sorrow, like a mariner’s quadrant, brings the sun at noon down to the horizon, and we learn where we are on the sea of life.”
Quoc and Dave Bushy visited campus last month, while on tour, and told their story to cadets and staff.