I know tattoos are something many in the different military services use to brand themselves with a particular 'band of brothers' or event. Looking at the tattoos fascinates me although I'd never get a tattoo myself. The tattoo of Capt. Michael Pretus is a work of art on his body.
Commemorating combat experience with a tattoo is a warrior ritual that stretches back centuries, a practice "as old as war itself," said C.W. Eldridge, a historian for the National Tattoo Association and owner of the Tattoo Archive, a Berkeley, Calif., tattoo studio.Indelible Memories For Veterans of Iraq
Like their counterparts in past wars, Iraq veterans are choosing traditional patriotic symbols -- U.S. flags, eagles, names of units -- for their tattoos. But some images are strikingly personal. Aided by improved pigments and more sophisticated equipment, they reveal in graphic detail the pain and permanence of war.