Pax Christi International has been fortunate to have Doug Hostetter as part of our team of volunteers at the United Nations in New York for several years.
Doug, a Mennonite and conscientious objector, served in the middle of a hot zone during the Vietnam War supporting the people who lived there. He shared his incredible story with Alan Winson and Rebecca McKean with Bar Crawl Radio in mid-June 2022.
In the second part of the interview, Doug describes his daily activities in and around the Tam Ky battle zone during the Vietnam War – his interaction with the U.S. American Marines and a very different relationship with U.S. officers who saw his positive work with the local population – as sapping GI morale. This led to a decision he had to make when he learned that the CIA was putting out rumors that could lead to his assassination. He describes surviving the violence of the two-week TET offensive of 1968 and the human devastation that he witnessed afterwards.
Doug’s experiences in Vietnam established his life path working for peace throughout the world: in Nicaragua during the Contra War, in Iraq with his attempts to prevent the First Gulf War by trading a plane-full of medicine with the Iraqis for U.S. citizens and UN hostages, and his work to save Bosnian students from genocide in the 1990s.
In a world rife with intense violence, this story of a man of nonviolence should be heard.