Note:  This story is part of a book member and Korean War veteran Donald Degood wrote for his great-grandchildren.


After Basic Training, I was Home for a 17 day Delay in Route Furlough before going overseas. I enjoyed this and did a lot of helling around We (A High School Friend) left for Seattle Washington In the first part of June 1951, we had three days processing at Fort Lawton (In Seattle) before we shipped out.  We were allowed to go Into Seattle in the evening. One evening three of us got Tattooed. John Keirns and mine were a Black Panther, It did not signify anything Political Just the one we picked out. There was not much choice.  The Guy that got the third Tattoo was an “Eagle with a Snake up its ass.” It scabbed over for about a week just like a cut. When the scab fell off, I had my Tattoo. That was 49 Years ago It has deteriorated some but still there.  My advice is not to get one.


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You say you were on leave when you got a tattoo.  What did your superiors say about this when you returned?  Just curious if this was normal and accepted or something you were disciplined for.........

Quite a few Marines I was stationed with at C&E Bn, at MCRD Sand Diego got tattoos. Most were "Death Before Dishonor", or daggers, or panthers, etc. I got a horse's head, because I missed my horse. From then on I was called "Hoss" every place I was stationed. ... It still looks pretty good today 43 years later.

I have the head of a black panther, has no meaning I just picked it as the other choice was a eagle with a snake up it's but. I got mine in 1951 Tattoes were not that popular especially here in Marysville. I never thought I would live to see a tattoe parlor in down town Marysville. The story about my Service time was from a book I wrote 20 years ago. It was written for my Great Grand children. It was them I was telling not to get a tattoe.

Got my 'USMC' tattoo on K street in Washington D.C. in 1969..Still looks pretty good. K street is now embassy row from what I've read. In our time, nothing was said by 'The Corps'. Different now, I've heard; can't be visible with rolled up sleeves.


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