Voices in War Time: Dave Connolly

On 15 November 2018 Peter Sablock, Medic, and Dave Connolly were guest speakers at a poly sci class at Salem State University. We have done this annually several times.

Peter, a retired geology teacher, spoke about his combat experiences as a scout with APCs. He did not mince words or hide his fear, his anger, his sorrow, or his deeply felt anti-war beliefs. For a dozen grueling minutes Peter spoke down and dirty about war and its aftermath.

Medic brought a dozen of his war photos, and briefly narrated each. Peter and Dave made impromptu, lively remarks.

Dave Connolly was a rifleman with the 11th Armored Cavalry in 1968-1969. He saw much heavy combat and was badly wounded several times. Like Peter, Dave spoke of war up close and personal. He held nothing back. For twenty minutes the well lit classroom became a jungle battlefield caught in the grip of exploding shells, skittering sharpnel, stuttering rifle fire, lobbed grenades, sudden rockets, a steady carpet of blood and bones. All of it related in Dave’s Southie Boston accent, as he methodically paced to and fro, occasionally stabbing the air with an aging fist. The students were dumbstruck by the raw power of his truths. Their elegant savagery.

A well known war poet, and a proud, long standing member of Vietnam Veterans Against the War, Dave Connolly’s collection of poems, Lost in America, was published by Viet Nam Generation, Inc., and Burning Cities Press in 1994. In 2004 Dave was featured in the noted documentary Voices in War Time.

Here’s a clip from the film:

See more of Dave Connolly’s poems here.