war paint


Joseph Jackson
United States Marine Corps 1964-1968
Vietnam, 1965, 1967-1968
Third Force Recon '67-'68

I had two tours in Vietnam and one was with a unit called 3rd Force Recon and they were only in existence during Vietnam. When I got back, I didn't have a lot of other veterans I would talk to and a couple years ago I started going to reunions for 3rd Force Recon and a couple of the guys had tattoos. I'd never gotten a tattoo before for whatever reason anyway, I started out I got the jump wings and then I hooked up with Joey [Nobody] and started getting all this other stuff. When you wear them out with your sleeve rolled up, people will stop you and say something. One thing about tattoos is after about fifty years they start to look like crap and I'm 61 so I don't have to worry about them ever looking like crap. When I die I'll be in the casket and they'll say "Man, them are some good looking tattoos on that old guy there!"

This one on my chest of a man fighting a dragon -- I've been a police officer for 38 years and I wanted something for retirement, "fighting the dragon" is what I've been doing -- if you count the Marine Corps, for 42 years.