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Lawmaker’s warning: Neck tattoos  could keep you out of the military

EnglcaptaDavid Beckham sports tattoo  back his neck  during training sessiCity Manchester Stadium Manchester EnglMonday May 31 2004. Englplay

England captain David Beckham sports a tattoo on the back of his neck, during a training session at the City of Manchester Stadium in Manchester, England, Monday May 31 2004. England play Japan in an international friendly on Tuesday, as part of their preparations for the Euro 2004 championships.(AP Photo/Paul Ellis)

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Updated: January 3, 2012 8:59AM

A Kentucky lawmaker wants those considering military service to be aware that a tattoo on the neck could prevent someone from serving in the military.

State Rep. Ron Crimm (R-Louisville) has offered a bill that would require tattoo parlors in Kentucky to post a sign reminding patrons of the military restrictions.

Some tattoo artists said they don’t object to the proposed law, and military recruiters see it as an education tool to deal with an increasing number of tattoos on American bodies.

Military regulations regarding tattoos don’t necessarily prohibit tattoos on arms and legs and vary according to the branch. Generally, the military prohibits neck tattoos and tattoos with racist or other material deemed obscene by military command.

“The military is inclusive, and you don’t want a tattoo that racially offends someone else or that’s degrading to women,” said Maj. Fred W. Bates V of the Army National Guard. “In the military, you have to serve together and fight in combat together. You don’t want these issues causing problems.

A Covington, Ky., tattoo artist says he already explains to customers who want tattoos on the neck of the potential consequences. He doesn’t think requiring a sign will change people’s decisions.

“You try to explain to people, but they want what they want,” said Lind.

Gannett News Service

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