Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Perspective: For Marines, tattoos are a reminder of the fallen

FALLBROOK, CALIF. — The anniversary of Marine Cpl. Brian R. St. Germain's death in Iraq was approaching, and Gunnery Sgt. Jason Alderman was making sure his buddy would never be forgotten. He was getting a tattoo in his honor.

The design was one that Alderman had chosen after looking at a Marine-themed website. The 11-inch tattoo being permanently inked on his left calf, near his shrapnel wound, included a Marine Ka-Bar knife, the Marine eagle, globe and anchor emblem and the inscription "SAINT 4-02-06."

Alderman, 31, said he wanted to show the tattoo to St. Germain's parents to assure them that their son would be remembered.

Marine Corps culture holds that Marines who die in combat must never be forgotten. An increasing number of Marines from nearby Camp Pendleton and other bases are living that ethic by getting memorial tattoos to comrades killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Read the rest at the LA Times