The Contra Costa County Library of California presents a unique and powerful online exhibit titled “War Ink” which features some 100 memorial tattoos from veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Marine Corps combat veteran Jose Cruz describes his own tattoos as “a tribute to those that are no longer here, but it also serves as a reminder to maintain my humanity… and the experiences I’ve been through, where I am now, and how that’s going to shape who I become in the future.”
Jason Deitch, who is a former combat medic, sociologist and the project’s scholar, said,”This project represents both a unique collaboration for cutting-edge and relevant cultural programming as well as a powerful context for the authentic and honest voice of veteran culture… reaching into and genuinely interacting with the communities veterans are struggling to rejoin.”
“War Ink will help a whole generation of veterans, who are returning home to Contra Costa County and the greater Bay Area, to share their story with the families in their community,” said Cathy Sanford, interim county librarian for the Contra Costa County Library. “I believe that in tattoo art we’ve found a common ground for both veterans and civilians to explore, and my hope is that War Ink will lead to a greater appreciation for the strengths and service of these courageous men and women.”