SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Lifestyle

October 18, 2012

Dear Abby: Veteran’s decision hints at a more serious issue

:Dear Abby: This is in response to “Worried Mom in Gainesville, Fla.” (July 13), whose son was not allowed to re-enlist in the Marine Corps.

I hate to say this, but that young man knew darned well when he got those tattoos he would not be able to re-enlist. The U.S. Navy (which the Marine Corps “technically” falls under) passed the New Enlistment Tattoo Policy in January 2003, with the Marine Corps adding its policy in April 2007.

Spouse of Retired Navy CPO

Dear Spouse: You are correct. Many readers wrote to say the Navy had passed new tattoo policies in 2003 and the Marine Corps followed suit in 2007. If re-enlisting is so important to “Worried Mom’s” son, all he needs to do is have his “tats” removed. Read on:

Dear Abby: The issue isn’t time served or his honorable discharge. The Marine Times recently published an article on Marine policy regarding tattoos. The Corps seeks to discourage full-sleeve tattoos and tattoos above the neck. They are regarded as unprofessional in appearance and may incorporate gang-related symbols. “Worried Mom’s” son likely knew the guidelines.

The mother said her son is bored and lacks focus in college. This suggests he may have PTSD. His desire to enlist in the French Foreign Legion may have short-term gains, but it may also compound mental health problems.

Marc in South Orange, N.J.

Dear Abby: The nonsense about joining the French Foreign Legion shows that the young man lacks maturity. He chose to get the tattoos; he can either have laser removal or live with his decision. He wants to be a Marine and is crying about a regulation he does not like? That is definitely not Marine quality! It appears he needs a serious dose of maturity.

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