Armitage talks about his very tangible contribution in Vietnam.
Question: What impact does your work have on the world?
Armitage: Well it depends. One part of my life, I had a direct impact. I led 29,000 Vietnamese the day of the fall of Saigon out of Vietnam. And they are, I think by and large, very productive members of our own society. Witness the valedictorian and salutatorian of any high school, college graduating class, you’ll probably see an Asian name, and probably a Vietnamese-Asian name. So I . . . I’m quite proud of that. I think beyond that we go to work each day, and as a public servant you put on your helmet, you button up your chin strap, and you go and try to resolve problems. In the day-to-day work of governance, it’s very hard to have the big idea, and the grand scheme, and the grand program. Most of all you’re trying to avoid problems; trying to mediate and mitigate problems.