In 1975, the Fall of Saigon changed Thuy Nga Mast’s life forever. Today, Nga recalls how these events led her to where she is now, working as a Financial Analyst at Northrop Grumman and supporting the defense of the country that became home to her family so many years ago.
Nga was 18 years old and living with her father, a former Lieutenant Colonel in the Army Republic of Vietnam, mother, and six younger siblings in Saigon when the conflict between the North Vietnamese Army and the Viet Cong intensified in March of 1975. By April, the family had become Vietnamese refugees.
“I still remember at noon on April 24, my father came home and talked to my mother and I,” Nga recalled. “He said we needed to pack and leave the country within 24 hours. His Third Corp G3 had a program which took care of families of high-ranking Military Officers and brought their families to the United States.”
Nga and her family left Vietnam without her father, who was still in the military. They made a short stop in the Philippines and stayed in Guam for three weeks. There, they were reunited with their father, who had left Vietnam on a cargo ship a few days after the family. Nga’s first home in America was Fort Chaffe Base in Fort Smith, Arkansas, and her family found a more permanent home in Oklahoma City in August of the same year.
Despite the chaotic exit from Vietnam, Nga felt like she was able to settle into her new country well.
“Prior to coming to the United States, I had learned a lot about English and American culture,” said Nga. “With my education, family background, determination and strong family support, I was able to adapt to the new life in the United States quickly, as were all my brothers and sisters.”
She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business administration from University of Central Oklahoma, and again in 1984 with a second bachelor’s degree in computer science. Nga came to work for Northrop Grumman in a finance position in 2004 after learning about the company from a friend. She lives in Oklahoma City with her husband, Charles Mast.
She said that Northrop Grumman has been a wonderful place to work for the past 18 years.
“Northrop Grumman has always supported diversity, equality and inclusion for the success of company,” said Nga. “The company has always supported the wellbeing of employees and the balance of work and family.”
Nga reflected that her parents instilled a strong work ethic in her and all of her siblings, as well as dedication to their new country. Working at Northrop Grumman, she feels like she’s achieving both.
”I am confident that my father was proud that all his children were successful and contributed to this beloved country,” she said. “His eldest daughter is working for Northrop Grumman, devoted to the defense of this country. He has a son who was a Retired Colonel the United States Army Reserves, and another son who works for the Army Air Force Exchange Service.”
As a proud member of a military family, Nga said working for Northrop Grumman has given her the opportunity to support the country. “My family is so proud to serve the country that has given us so many blessings,” said Nga. “Now I am grateful to work for Northrop Grumman to support efforts for peace, freedom and protecting the Unites States. I feel all of this has inspired me to serve the country and have a meaningful purpose in my life.”
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