Thursday, October 18, 2007
Vets With Tattoos
I'm working on a portrait project about veterans with military tattoos. We want to know the stories behind them.
Jim Brennan, a 74-year-old Korean War veteran, got his first tattoo of a black panther on the inside of his left forearm before he entered the Navy and "before those boys in California were known for their name." But the rest, the ones shown in this picture, were done after. He refuses to talk about the war itself. Making explicitly clear he would not talk about combat. But, he would talk about his tattoos, where he got them and why.
At this point most of the tattoos just look a little like blobs, but there are three of note. The one on his right forearm is an eagle and anchor, a symbol of the Navy. The one on his right chest is a rose, for his mother whose name is ... Rose. And the one on the left chest a memorial tattoo for his good friend who died in a car accident on his way back to the ship after being on leave. Vignettes of several veterans is scheduled to run on Veteran's Day, November 11. More to come.