The art of tattooing has captured the imagination of many. Where tattoos were once seen as the sign of a sailor or a rebel, they are now widely socially accepted; many Australians, including members of our Defence Forces, wear tattoos. The reasons for being tattooed are as varied as the people themselves, but there is almost always a single, definitive and unifying purpose for getting inked: To remember.
Whether it’s a young mariner deploying overseas, thinking how much she’ll miss her family, or a career soldier mourning the death of a friend, many members of the Australian Army, Airforce and Navy have at some time, carefully designed an image to symbolise their hopes and memories. These personal memories are then inscribed on their own skin, allowing them to permanently embody the people, places and experiences which have the most importance for them.