Dwight Scarbrough's idea of political dissent is one that rubs some people the wrong way. He likes to blame his compulsion for peaceful troublemaking on his birthday: October 2, the same as Gandhi. However, a few of Scarbrough's techniques are all his own--especially when it comes to his truck.
For instance, when the Iraq War was looking imminent, not long after September 11, Dwight attached a garbage bag to the back of his truck bed. He splattered the bag and the truck with ketchup and added a sign reading, "This veteran knows that our children are worth more than a $6.95 body bag."
When he drove down the freeway, the bag would inflate and appear occupied.
"That one was a little in-your-face and on-the-edge,"
Scarbrough recalls. "It got a lot of response."
Scarbrough wasn't always so anti-military. During the waning years of the Cold War, he even served five years on a nuclear submarine for the U.S. Navy. But now, instead of trying to stop the spread of "red" states like China and the USSR, Dwight lives in a red state--Idaho. He's the founder and head of Boise's local branch of Veterans for Peace, he leads seminars exposing military recruitment practices in schools, and he--and his truck--are fixtures at nearly every Democratic, antiwar or pro-peace event in town.
While no longer smeared with ketchup, his ride is still hard to ignore. On the back, he tapes weekly updates of the number of U.S. soldiers killed and wounded in Iraq. Beneath that, on a large, white (and also taped-on) placard: "Support our returning troops and their families when they need help: Give them this number: GI RIGHTS HOTLINE: 1-800-394-9544."
On both doors, in bold capital letters: "DEATH IN IRAQ IS NOT A CAREER OPPORTUNITY FOR YOUNG AMERICANS."
Taking up nearly half of the back window: "Veterans for Peace Chapter 117, Idaho."
On the driver's side wheel well, also in all caps: "PERHAPS GOD BLESSES EVERY NATION, NOT JUST THE USA." And interspersed between them all, he places a variety of purchased bumper stickers and magnetic ribbons reading, among other sentiments, "Support our Troops: Bring them Home Now," "Support Diversity"
and "Honor Vets, Wage Peace."