Tattoo tribute to heroic SEAL

Tattoo tribute to heroic SEAL

Like Michael Fumento, I’m not usually a fan of tattoos or body art. I had some friends when I was younger who had all kinds of tatts and later regretted all of them. That said, I agree with Fumento that this is very cool.Awesome tattoo tribute to deceased SEAL Mike Monsoor

As a rule I find tattoos and body-piercing (ears on women aside) to be ugly. But this is pretty darned impressive.

Click image for larger view.

Incidentally “This was the guy that Michael saved - the one he received a medal for, I think it was about a year ago,” Mike’s sister Patty wrote me. “Anyway, he said when Michael picked him up after he was shot and lying in the middle of gun fire this is the vision he saw and looked to find a tattoo artist to copy his vision and get the wings perfect. He had this tattoo on his body as a tribute to Michael saving his life and the guarding angel he felt was there with them.”

This had nothing to do with the incident that took Monsoor’s life and made him a candidate for the Medal of Honor, when he threw himself on a grenade to save three more lives.

So to be clear, Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael Monsoor was a US Navy SEAL who died on September 29, 2006 in the second incident mentioned above. The Pentagon is reviewing the recommendation that he be awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously.

Melanie was at first put off by the image of St. Michael as a gun-toting Special Ops warrior, but then I said it was no different from depictions of St. Michael centuries ago with armor and a sword. Those weapons at the time were no more out of place than an M-4 Carbine is here.

Plus there’s something comforting about the image of St. Michael kicking down a door and rousting Ole Scratch from his hidey hole in some mountain fastness where he’s gone to ground. Heh.

(Here’s more information about Monsoor’s heroic act.)

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  • Actually it’s hard to tell from the tattoo, but Monsoor carried an MK48 medium machine gun. That’s like an M-249 SAW except that it fires 7.62 mm rounds. A bit heavy but Monsoor, like most SEALs I’ve seen, was quite big and strong.

  • Tattoos make a good symbol of permanence, since they can’t (really) be erased, so it makes sense to me when someone gets a tattoo to commemorate an event or emotion that will permanently affect him. The tattoo above is a perfect example. The old custom of getting a tattoo of the name of someone you love is also intelligible as a declaration of the undying nature of your love.

    I think part of the reason for the popularity of tattoos today is a longing for permanence, in a world where the very symbols of permanence—marriage, truth, faith—are being hollowed out.

    So it’s especially sad to see tattoos that have no particular meaning—designs that the tattooed person just happened to like. It speaks of a desire for permanence without the slightest idea of how to fulfil it.

  • Nice picture, although I don’t think I would like to see machine guns become an element of iconography. There seems to be a difference between a sword and a gun. One is held to the body and used to defend in a natural way, while a gun uses a mechanical shot and seems to suggest an artificial and offensive combat, similar to how an electric chair doesn’t seem as expressive as a crucifix. Maybe I’m splitting hairs.

  • I am reminded of the famous story of the woman who, because she wasn’t “that kind of girl”, declined to sleep with a man for $ 50, but then agreed when he offered $ 5,000. She got upset when he called her “that kind of girl” but he replied most accurately, the only real question was the price at which “that kind of girl” sold her body.

    You’re either in favor of tattoos, or you’re against them. You either think it’s okay to use the human body as billboard, or you don’t. One’s list of “acceptable” tattos might be longer or shorter than someone’e elses, but if there are any tatoos on the OK list, then you’re in favor of tattos.

  • If I’m okay with Maori or Zulu tattoos on Maori or Zulus, I don’t think I’m being inconsistent.

    I think some tattoos are okay, but most are not. I think the “tramp stamp” on girls is wrong.

    If I say I’m okay with killing in self-defense, it doesn’t make me in favor of murder.

    If that’s a bad analogy, let’s try: If I’m okay with smoking a cigar occasionally it doesn’t mean I’m in favor of cigarette smoking.

  • If, I say IF, I am against tattoos on the basis that they treat the human body disrespectfully, then I would be opposed to them whether they purport to honor the war dead, or decorate Zulu bodies (Zulus are human, too.)

    The killing/murder analogy is so bad, Dom, that you should have erased it.

    The cigar/cigarette analogy is better, but still fails as you post it, for there are demonstrable relevant differences between the two. I for one think cigarette smoking is for dingdongs, but pipes/cigars in moderation are OK. I do not claim to be opposed to “smoking”, however, as clearly I am not. Just smoking cigarettes.

    I will grant that a man who eats only fish can say that he is opposed to red meat and fowl, but we must not let him claim that he is opposed to eating animal muscle. Cuz he aint.

  • I’m under the weather today so you’ll have to excuse the bad analogy.

    I’m still not sure what you’re disputing however since I said I’m not usually a fan of tattoos or body art. I don’t see that it’s an either/or choice. I think most tattoos are a bad idea, but once in a while one comes along that looks good in its context.

    I don’t think it’s treating the body disrespectfully per se.

  • Jason. You are splitting hairs.

    I don’t know. Is something appropriate in iconography merely because it is a weapon? St. Michael holding a nuclear bomb? I actually like the picture as an honor to this one person, but in general, I don’t know if I would feel comfortable with Saints on the walls of Churches holding machine guns.

  • Jason, what’s immoral about nuclear weapons, as opposed to the way they might be, have been, used? I reckon that blades of all sorts have killed incomparably more people than bullets have, though blades had several millenia to build up their numbers.

    Personally, I don’t think St. M should be with any human weapon, since his battle with Satan was unlikel to be waged with instruments, etc. fwiw.