Dustin Alan Parks is accustomed to the angry stares.
He listens to the snide comments, the outrage, the insults. Traitor. Terrorist. Pinko.
But Parks, in many ways, welcomes the hostility, virtually inviting it in a place like Texas. All he has to do is wear his favorite T-shirt – "Support G.I. Resistance."
"I'm a tad confrontational," he concedes.
Parks, 23, a combat veteran and card-carrying proselytizer for Iraq Veterans Against the War, uses the impromptu discussions to engage people in something more than a reflexive insult or stereotype, to try to get them to understand why he, as a soldier who served in Iraq, wants nothing more than the end to a war he no longer believes in.
Not that it always works.
"It backfires all the time," he said. "People think I'm some punk-ass kid, anti-war, anti-military, all about peace and love. I'm not against the military, and I love America."
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