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Veterans have mixed emotions about tattoos

Veterans at odds about proposed tattoo policy

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Some veterans call their tattoos a memorial, some see good skin being wasted.

Colorado veterans are at different ends of the spectrum when it comes to a report that said the Army has a new policy about troops and their tattoos.

"There are more serious issues," Army Veteran Freddy Strickland said.

He has a tattoo that memorializes the troops.

Strickland feels the Army has other things to worry about.

"I think the energy is better spent focusing on those issues instilling those core values and discipline," he said. 

David Torres-Benavidez served with the Marines for more than four years.

He says he doesn't mind troops having tattoos, but like his family, they have to be hidden.

"I can understand tattoos on your arms and your body but when you are in uniform representing this government with tattoos (above your neck), no i do not," the Marine veteran said.

According the the proposed policy new recruits can not have tattoos above their neck line, below their elbows or below their knees.

But troops with tattoos already are exempt.

"The military when i was there was really a military," Army Veteran Joe Vazquez said.

He served in Korea and Vietnam.

Vazquez agrees with the Army's proposed policy and thinks soldiers are getting tattoos because of outside influences.

"I think that's the best thing they can come up with because it doesn't look right with a guy in uniform, tattoos like football players, it doesn't look professional."

Professional or not Strickland says it's just a way to show patriotism.

"The tattoos in a way are a form of personal expression," he said.

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