Adam says his tattoo signifies the 12 years he's served so far. He is still in the Army in "the reserves E-5."
James spent 16 yrs in the Army as an MP and says he "really had nothing physically to show for it." So 3 yrs ago his ex son in law said he wanted to get him a tattoo. So he decided to get the MP Badge with his service dates tattooed on his left soldier.
Eric Rocha (IG: @rgersolidcpy)
"1st Bn 4th Mar 1st Marine Division Charlie company HELO raids! Not much of a story but had the best times with my bro’s and fast roping off birds was by far the coolest experience the marine corps ever offered me and nothing in the civilian world could’ve amounted to the experience led alone the brotherhood I made with the young men I know who served with me to this day."
Jonathan says he wanted something different and hadn’t seen anything similar before. He says his artist had a good idea and they came up with this.
Beau got his whole neck tattooed as a tribute to his time in the Marine Corps.
Matthew got this tattoo to represent his time in the Navy. "This piece means a lot because the navy helped me do and see things I never would have been able to by myself. This piece also has another amazing story because it was done by a Purple Heart recipient from Army/Marine Corp who helps take care of local veterans."
Nick, a USMC Veteran got "For those I love I will sacrifice" on his chest to honor his time in the Marine Corps.
Christian was in the Navy for 10 and a half years from 2005-2016. He was an un designated airman stationed in Kaneohe, HI. Marine Corps base Hawaii with VP-47. He struck Engineman and went to my first ship in Pearl Harbor, DDG 93 USS Chung-Hoon. After, he was stationed in San Diego on DDG 100 USS Kidd. He then went to NAS Kingsville and retired on February 19, 2016. He is currently working for Valero and is part of the Emergency Response Team in Wilmington California.
Leo Neal (IG: leo.neal)
Leo, a Marine Corps Veteran, who served 4 years, says he got this tattoo because he lost a few friends who he served with. "I’ve also lost friend who didn’t serve due to suicide. I just want people to know I’ll always help in whatever way I can.
When people see it, they’ll know I got their back."
U.S. Marine Corps Veteran, Erryn says he ended up with a very large scar from his elbow to his wrist from a accident while he was stationed at camp kinser Okinawa japan. "What better than to cover it with a dog tag tattoo with my maiden name and a Semper fi."
Casey Wieckowski (IG: @afflfdvictoryvhcfitec2309)
Casey says he got the the flag as a back drop because he loves this country and is proud to have served. The Statue of Liberty with a have skull face is for liberty or death. The soldiers grave is for all his fallen brothers and sisters, and Saint Michael the protector because he is the patron saint of the Air Force and first responders, "me being a former Air Force firefighter. I also have we the people on this arm, 3 percenter, firefighter cross, Spartan helmet, and come take them in Greek."
Stacy got this tattoo one night after meeting a bunch of other women who also served in the Marine Corps. She said they got the word "Kill" on their left foot to symbolize the "kill foot" associated with Marines and to symbolize their sisterhood.
"Army, 19kilo armor crewman ( Tanker )
1st 72nd armor Camp Casey, Korea
HHC 1st Brigade Ft Riley, Kansas
This faceless soldier tattoo with old glory is a tribute to every soldier fighting a battle within."
Jimmy served in the Marines from 2005-2009. He was deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. His tattoos represent his patriotism, service to the country, freedom, and some of the things he's done. The bombs represent breaching operations. He has a battlefield cross to memorialize those who didn't come home.
Beau got his unit logo tattooed. He says if he would've stayed home and not chose for structure, he doesn't know where he'd be right now.
Clifton got this tattoo when his best friend committed suicide due to everything that happened while she was overseas. "I myself am an army veteran and want her to live on with me forever and in the hearts and minds of people that knew her and got to love her like i did. She was such an amazing person with a heart of gold."
For Garry, his back tattoo represents the 6 combat tours he went on. The American Flag in the Eagles wing represents America and what he was fighting for. The POW MIA Flag in the Eagles other wing represents the Americans that were captured and the ones missing in action. The Bald Eagle represents our nation and freedom. The All Gave Some and Some Gave All banner represents everyone that fought in combat and the ones that never made it home. The words underneath are each combat tour he was on and the time he was there.
For Daniel, the skull at the top represents the infantry soldiers who gave their lives and are looking over the living soldiers while in battle and at home, which are the soldiers at the bottom. They also represent the brotherhood created while overseas and always having each other’s back. The background is the American flag which represents what they all fight/fought for and what they hold dear to their heart. As well as being a proud American. The "infantry" at the top just represents his job in the army and his pride for it.
Nick Logan (IG: @nick_logan91)
Nick says the tattoo inside his bicep is a broken clock set to the numbers 11:11 to represent Veterans Day below that there are a series of headstones and one casket with a American Flag draped over it is a reminder to never forget them.
"I got my Eagle Globe and Anchor tattoo to remind me of my pride and the accomplishment from the first time I put on that uniform until I die. It’s an honor and a privilege to be a Marine! I cherish the brotherhood wherever I go and it’s a special moment to run into another Marine that you never met before and when they see this tattoo we instantly know we are brothers because we are cut from the same blood oath that brings us all altogether. SFMF’s"
K.L.K (IG: @hautespartan)
"I have around 80hrs worth of tattoos on my body. All of it is in black and white. The only two images in color are the flag and a rose that symbolizes my mother.
Before my deployment I’ve asked all my loved ones without telling them why, “if you were an emoji or symbol what would you be.”
I went an got them all tattooed knowing that’s the only way I’ll be able to carry something of them with me everywhere I go. The positioning of this specific part is directly under my elbow and it is perfectly legible if/when my arms are open to the side and parallel to the ground.
Same as “king Leonidas” had at the final scene of “300” right before his death. As he “accepted death” and never surrendered or retreated. Now, in my civilian life... it’s actually a daily reminder that nothing is actually that difficult. After going toe to toe with the devil himself for 7 straight years my ink reminds me that it’s ok if my iced latte is not ready by the time I pull up to the store. Just as at the time the same ink reminded me why I cannot be late even for a fraction of a second."
"I wanted to get dog tags but did not want to put my info on there so instead I put the Hull numbers of my ships, the anchor represents the Navy and the flag is for America."
Donovan says he earned the dragon during a deployment and the rose is for someone he lost during deployment. The skull was something someone he served with drew up. And the chest was a sigil for a clan of gaming he gamed with while serving.
Blake says he got this tattoo to symbolize his first combat mission. "Urgent Fury 1983 - A lot of people forget and or don’t think of it as anything major but to those of us that was there, it was combat and it was real. I was on chalk one from 82 nd ABN DIV."
Always be kind, you never know what kind of battle someone is fighting on the inside."
Terry says this tattoo is the start of his tribute tattoo for his old unit in the air force, the 20th special operations squadron and the helicopter he was a gunner on MH-53 Pave Low. He says when it's finished "it will have a few more pictures and the names of the brothers who lost their lives protecting this great country of ours and a American flag background."
Tyler says being a combat medic was one of the most amazing experiences of his life. He took so much pride in being called “Doc”. It was a badge of trust that he says he earned from the infantrymen. He swore he would get them back home to their families. He says he wanted to get something to honor that name, which he earned and wore so proudly. "Who doesn’t like a rad mustache to go with it!"
Erick left the Navy almost 20 years ago and had been thinking about getting a tattoo that encompassed that experience. So with the help of an amazing tattoo artist, they came up with this, the anchor of course is Navy all the way, the octopus is one of the strongest and smartest creatures in the sea, the Latin saying translates into “The Empire of King Neptune “ which is on our shellback certificate when you cross the equator adm is a tradition that goes back hundreds of years, the four stars are loved ones that he has lost because stars are what sailors used to guide them, these people were guiding stars in his life and he wanted to remember them this way.
Rudy is a Navy Veteran. He says he got these two tattoos to symbolize being a SAR swimmer and the the skeleton frog to memorialize Operation Red Wing.
Rich Dierks (IG: @rich_Dierks)
Rich says he got this tattoo when his son was on leave from the Navy. "He’s been in the Navy for a year now and I flew him home to surprise my wife for Christmas. We decided that we wanted to go get ink together and I’ve always wanted a Navy tat to reflect on that part of my life. It means the world to me that he’s chosen to follow in my footsteps."
Mario Rodriguez (IG: @Rodjrtx)
"Being a Marine we are bred warriors. And being Mexican we have Aztec warriors. Why not blend the both. I added an EGA to the warriors battle shield. “I am not a warrior be aide I always win, but because I will always fight."
Daniel says "The plot thickens" was thought of when him and his brother were in Afghanistan. He says every time they were up for days and something bad happened they always said “well can’t get worse” or “the plot has thickened” so when they got back they decided to get bro tattoos in remembrance of those awful days and nights.
"I served in the USMC infantry from 15-19 and these two tattoos are my perception my service going in and coming out. The fallen angle on the left was my very first tattoo ever. I got it cause I was hiding from my drill instructors on Sunday going to church and the way they compared us to fallen angels instead of Spartans really resonated with me. Little did I know I was gonna spend the next 4 yrs wanting a fight that never came. I had seniors and super seniors that were combat vets and I respected what they did and just wanted to be like them too. We always got told never wish for war and I understand why but war is like a right of passage to us too. Just like Vikings scared of not going to Valhalla, I found the realization of ending my service not fulfilling this right of passage depressing. Every time I was thanked for my service or congratulated on my hard work I felt guilty cause I didn’t feel I was the man Everyone else thought I was. it ate at me and that’s what inspired the second tattoo. Cause now a days the marines of my generation have a different form of pain that comes from this lack of service. Personally I’m still coping with these feelings that I feel a lot of dudes don’t talk about cause how do you about having it easy but I hope that anyone reading this if they feel the same opens up that line of conversation with their buddies or a total stranger like me cause non of us are alone my at is @chrisviola611"
Nick Logan (IG: @nick_logan91)
Nick says the story behind his ink is to tell people his story. "I will always wear that EGA with pride and honor. The Cannon shows my job while serving."
Travis got this full-back piece to resemble his time in the military. He also got the words "All gave some, some gave all" dedicated to everyone who laid down their lives in service.
Matt got this as a start to a service sleeve he is currently working on. It was actually a large coverup that he wanted to do. The idea was for a sleeve, to show off various parts of the Navy that he enjoyed. He says this was just such a cool design to coverup some terrible tribal he got as a young kid. His goal is to do my military sleeve with tattoo artists who were all former service members.
Ramon says he got a tattoo of a red head pin up hanging a mortar round because he's a mortar man for the Army and the Virgin Mary to protect him when he went over seas.
Stacy got this stick figure drill instructor which she drew one day on the drill field to represent her time in the Marine Corps.
Craig was with Aco 8/101st aviation regiment Armament ply during Desert Shield/Desert Storm and that experience has been with him his entire life. "There is almost a day I am not reminded of those days and the brothers and sisters I served with. I have always wanted a 101st airborne tattoo and last year it came true. I used my desert as my inspiration. I then used the torn skin style because I always feel that who I am underneath. I am proud to say I am a “Screaming Eagle.”
Lane says "the eagles head is to resemble a multitude of things, from staying sharp, to patriotic, to majestic. The uncle Sam’s skull is in reference to dying for what America stands for in the traditional sense. Freedom from government and being free people. Then design around the eagles head is more or less a design feature to tie them all together."
Lane says this is a tattoo that was created for remembrance of those who he's served with and have fallen both inside and outside of the military, specifically a gentleman named lane Harris, for the battle cross.
"I was in the Navy on board the USS Nimitz and wanted a cool tat to honor that and my wife and son."
Daniel was in the Army Infantry 11b. So he got a cross with angel wings and psalm 23 verse 4 and 6. "Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil, your rod and thy staff comfort me and surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the lord forever." He says it’s fitting for him being infantry walking into battle that it be on his leg facing the enemy. He also has Athena, goddess of war and wisdom on his rib cage.
Justin Brant (IG: @jab_trd_socal)
Justin Brant says after joining the Marines back in 2001, he got his first tattoo in MOS school. He says it was cool as a young one…but he didn’t really like it and after a few years he ended up covering it up. A few year later he had some laser tattoo removal sessions to lighten the double tattoo. In the meantime, him and San Diego tattoo artist (IG: @terryribera) sat down and planned the tattoo out. "He actually texted me a few weeks later before the first appointment and had changed the design to something more in your face and dynamic. I was in love with the design! At this point in my career I had been on 7 deployments and seen over 30 countries with just about 16-17 years in service. 3 sessions later I was so proud to wear this new ink from Terry that represents who I am. I fully believe that even long after the military I’ll still be a Marine and hold that true.”