GREENBRIER, Ark, — A young Greenbrier man wanting to join the military said he was turned away because of his tattoo.
Covered in camouflage, 18-year-old Anthony Bauswell said he is like most country boys. He likes to hunt, fish and be outdoors. He shows his pride of his upbringing in his tattoos.
“I got a browning buck right there,” said Anthony Bauswell.
To show pride in his country, Bauswell said he walked into the Conway Marine recruiting center Monday to enlist.
The process stopped after he revealed another tattoo.
“There’s the tattoo it clearly states southern pride,” said Bauswell.
The tattoo was of a confederate flag with the writing “southern pride” on it.
The same tattoo said Anthony Bauswell said was the reason the enlisting process could no longer go forward.
“As soon as I said rebel flag on my ribs, he says DQ, just automatically, DQ,” said Bauswell
Bauswell said the recruiter his tattoo disqualified him from joining the marines.
“I felt pretty low. My own government wasn’t going to let me serve my country because of the ink on my skin,’ said Bauswell.
Fox16 tried contacting the recruiting center Wednesday, but they were closed.
We did find the marine corps tattoo policy — which reads in part,
The recent high school grad said he understood the stigma with the confederate flag.
“I definitely don’t want it to be seen as racism, which is 99% of the reason I got southern pride on it,” said Bauswell.
Bauswell said he is hoping his pride for his country can be expressed in service and not just remain skin-deep.
The Marine Corps also have a tattoo poster on some websites with the slogan “Think before you ink.”