Phu Nguyen was born on October 13, 1940, in Vietnam. He grew up in Vietnam, and in 1962 was drafted into the South Vietnamese army. Nguyen served for six years and then decided to work for the US embassy. After the Fall of Saigon, he narrowly escaped being imprisoned in communist reeducation camps. In 1992 Nguyen moved to the United States to be with his family. Initially, he lived with his sister in Sunnyvale, California but later moved to Portland to be near his children. In Portland, Nguyen worked as an interpreter for the Portland Public Schools and has been president of the Vietnamese Senior Association of Oregon (VSAO) for fifteen years.

In this interview, Phu Nguyen discusses his life in Vietnam, coming to the United States, and the various Portland-based organizations and communities in which he participates. He begins the interview by discussing his life in Portland and his work for Portland Public Schools and the FMP medical center. Nguyen then transitions to talking about his time in Vietnam and his work for the army and the US embassy. He explains that his involvement in the South Vietnamese army almost led to detention in a reeducation camp. Later in the interview, Nguyen discusses coming to Portland after initially living in Sunnyvale, California. Nguyen moved to Oregon in order to be with his family. He speaks about the organizations that he has joined since moving here. He is an active member of the religious movement called Two by Twos. He also is active in both the Vietnam Senior Association and the Former Vietnamese Army Officials.