Review: Tattooed Under Fire

Program: Tattooed Under Fire
Date: Thursday, October 30
Time: 9 p.m.

This documentary takes you on a journey to Killeen, TX, to Fort Hood — the largest Army post in the country.  Due to the heavy military presence in the town, all of the shops in the area cater to the needs of the soldiers.  In particular River City Tattoo is home, and in some cases family, to many soldiers about to leave to go to Iraq, or returning for 2nd or 3rd tours of duty.

The film features a handful of eager soldiers from the first time they are deployed to Iraq and follows them after they return home and, of course, to the tattoo shop again to add to their “storyboards”.  The stories told by these soldiers while they are being inked are heartbreaking and eye-opening.  They talk about their friends and fellow soldiers dying in front of them, killing innocent people who interfere with their mission, their struggles with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and the fear of going back for another tour of duty, only this time not returning.

Their tattoos reflect their anxiety and their fear.  It is a way for them to tell their individual stories to everyone they meet.  For most soldiers, getting a tattoo is a form of therapy and release.  Some of the tattoos are shocking and horrifying but they have very significant and important meanings.  All of the characters in this film are very relatable and well-spoken, and the shop’s owners and employees genuinely love their clientele and offer their unconditional support.  The soldiers in this film pour out their hearts and let us in on the most difficult times of their lives.

– Michelle Mayeux

About the reviewer: Michelle Mayeux has been the Marketing Coordinator at KLRU for about two years.  When she’s not working you can find her playing outside with her dog Maggie.