A number of former Canadian military personnel have honored the fallen with some touching tattoo tributes.
Tattoos are more than ink on skin, they are ways of overcoming trauma and hardship but also a beautiful way of remembering those most important to you. These Canadian military personnel have all used tattoos to honor the fallen soldiers and those that gave their life for their country.
Norm Gillard, 39, Sergeant, ammunition technician, 2 Service Battalion had his elbow tattooed with a stone-carved poppy that has a real poppy bursting through it. He got his tattoo after a tour in Afghanistan, the stone poppy represents the hardships of combat while the real poppy symbolizes remembrance.
Jimmy Donovon, 48 Royal Canadian Regiment, warrant officer, Unit 427 Special Operations Squadron originally got a tattoo of a rifle and helmet along with a banner reading “Love of Country” in Latin. He later added four poppies, each with a particular meaning: one poppy for the people he knew who had died in combat, a second poppy for the soldiers lost to suicide, a third for soldiers suffering from PTSD, and a fourth for those who support soldiers in need
Chad Kendall, 48, Royal Canadian Regiment, platoon Warrant Officer dedicated his entire back to his comrades killed in Afghanistan. Though it is now a tribute to all the fallen soldiers. It took around a year to complete!
Ivan Henderson, 52, Former private in the Canadian military decided to get a tattoo after he lost a friend in an IED explosion in Afghanistan. The tattoo, however, does not just represent his friend, but all those who have lost their lives in war. Boldly tattooed on his neck is a white rose in tribute to all those who have given their life to protect others.
Ursula Matchett, 69, Retired captain, 28 years in Reserves a number of Matchett's family have served in the military and her poppy tattoo is a tribute to them, as well as to the people she worked with and the soldiers lost on duty.
Boner (real name not given), 53, Retired corporal, 1 Royal Canadian Regiment and 3 Commando of Canadian Airborne Regiment spent most of his service in the Canadian Airborne Regiment and his dagger tattoo is a commemorative piece to those who lost their lives in combat. A dagger with wings the tattoo has '1869' written on the hilt which is the Airborne coin number. The design also features a small banner reading '3 CDO CAR', a reference to being a commando in the regiment.
Tattoo honoring the fallen is a touching tribute to those who bravely gave their lives for others, and a reminder that to secure the freedom in which we live, people often make the ultimate sacrifice.