Gary Kulik

Mar 30, 2023

Gary Kulik: Conscientious Objector Who Served in Vietnam

The Catholic Doctrine of Just War and How to Apply It

New Books Network 2023

Gary Kulik was a Catholic Conscientious Objector (CO) during the Vietnam War, but when he was drafted he decided to go and serve as a medic. He tells me about this decision and how he arrived at it, about his journey to Vietnam, his experiences there, and his return. He also talks about how Americans often misrepresent the war in Hollywood and politics, which is the topic of his first book, War Stories: False Atrocity Tales, Swift Boaters, and Winter Soldiers—What Really Happened in Vietnam. (His second book, The Forgotten Medics of Vietnam, is forthcoming.)

Gary Kulik is a decorated veteran of the Vietnam War; he was a medic in the Fourth Infantry Division and the Sixty-first Medical Battalion. He’s a graduate of St. Michael’s College and has earned a PhD in American Civilization at Brown University. He served as deputy director of the Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library, and had also been assistant director of the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, and also the editor of American Quarterly.

  • Gary Kulik’s book, War Stories, available from Potomac Press and also from Amazon.
  • Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 2309, about Just War, from the USCCB.
  • Article by William C. Michael, “What does the Catechism of the Catholic Church teach about War?” (2022), Classical Liberal Arts.
  • Podcast about the Petraeus Directive in Iraq and Afghanistan, “War Poems” on Rough Translation, from NPR.

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