Former Ambassador Roman Popadiuk reflects on life of President Bush

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COLLEGE STATION, Tex. (KBTX) - President Bush's diplomatic legacy stretched well past his time in the White House.

Former Ambassador Roman Popadiuk reflected on his time with the 41st President. He also helped lead the Bush Foundation.

During his presidency, George H.W. Bush presided over some of the most crucial times in American history. Roman Popadiuk served as an Ambassador to Ukraine during that time. Years later, he would work for the president again when he ran the George Bush Presidential Library Foundation.

"I've always found it very enjoyable to work with him. [He's] very dedicated person to public service. Something that he admired in all young people going into public service and something that he also urged a lot of young people to consider as career paths for them," said Popadiuk.

He reflected on the president's philosophy on life.

"First of all, he was a strong believer in patriotism and support of the country and doing the right thing and he believed that you stick by your principles and your beliefs," he said.

Popadiuk says one of the milestones in Bush's presidency was when the Berlin Wall came down and Soviet Union collapsed. At the time, President Bush was criticized for being matter of fact about it in interviews.

"The fear was that there would be a reactionary forces that could brew up in the Soviet Union and go counter to what was taking place," said Popadiuk.

"So, while the process was moving forward. Don't take a lot of credit for it. Don't thump your chest," he added.

Popadiuk says Bush stood by his convictions despite a 1988 campaign promise of no new taxes. "Read my lips. No new taxes," Bush is famously remembered saying at the time.

"He felt that was necessary in order to make sure that the economy was stable for the future growth of the country," said Popadiuk.

"Here was a situation where he took the political risk of breaking a campaign promise to do the right thing for the country and he suffered consequences," he said.

He says 41's legacy lives on at his Graduate School at Texas A&M University.

"The example he set for how you should conduct yourself in office to serving the welfare of the country, those are all characteristics which I greatly admire in him and it was a great honor to be able to work with him," said Popadiuk.

Popadiuk served as the Executive Director of the George Bush Presidential Library Foundation for 13 years.