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Tattooed for Life - Chris Sarno Memoir

But before he underwent more training, he went on weekend liberty at Long Beach, which was not too far away. He went with a few of his buddies and enjoyed dancing and the night life on the board walk. On an impulse one evening, he stepped inside a tattoo parlor. Being only 19, he could not legally get a tattoo. Disappointed, he stepped back outside and told his buddies that he wasn’t able to get one due to his age. One of them whipped out an identification card that said he was 22. Within minutes, Sarno was back in the same tattoo parlor telling the needle artist that he was now the ripe old age of 22. "The tattoo artist said, ‘Sit down,’ Sarno recalled. Several painful minutes later, Sarno emerged with a Marine Corps emblem stenciled on his arm. The words "USMC" and "Tanks" were also etched there, too. "It was painful all the way," he grimaced, "but I didn’t regret it. Most of the Marines had tattoos on various parts of their body. There were Marines who didn’t get them, but they were in the minority. I never looked on it like I was defacing my skin. I was proud of it. I was proud I was a tanker and I was going to war." At least, he would be going to war when the final phase of his training—close combat—was completed.

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