The Art of the Not So Tactful Tattoo

By: ralphbarrera

Mar 15 2010

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Category: Photojournalism

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Focal Length:35mm
Shutter:1/0 sec
Camera:Canon EOS-1D Mark II N

For soldiers at Ft. Hood Army Base in Killeen, TX. off-site counseling alternatives come in a variety of ways like the local mom and pop tattoo shop or the church pastor. At La Rude’s Tattoo Shop owners LaJuan and Rudie Najar have turned their parlor into a place for soldiers, many with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, to find comfort. Sgt. Ryan Witko, who was injured by an Improvised Explosive Device in Iraq, shows some of the tattoo work he has had done. Witko will have his medical discharge soon due to his disability from the injury. I was fascinated by his tattoos, truly works of art and yet quite disturbing to those who don’t know the story of his life. Given the chance to study and stare its like reading a book. Very profound indeed.

Photo by Ralph Barrera


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