At Black Pearl Tattoos on Route 11, the ink business is good. Business is flowing, but a new proposal in the Army could change that.
"We get locals here," tattoo artist Brooklynn Fuller said, "but especially where our location is, we get a lot of military in here."
Fuller says 75 percent of the tattoo parlor's business comes from Fort Drum soldiers and their families.
Much of that business could be in jeopardy. The Army is considering a proposal that would ban tattoos on soldiers below their knees and elbows.
The possible change in policy has drawn criticism from many in the Army.
"If I find one that I want to put below the elbows or below the knees then, yeah, I'll still get it," soldier Brandon Hugueley said.
"I actually have plans with Brooklynn to get a sleeve on my leg done," said another soldier, "so if they put this into effect, that would hamper that idea."
Meanwhile, workers at Black Pearl are bracing for whatever happens if the change takes effect.
"Business will be hindered quite a bit from it because soldiers are running out of space on where to put their ink," Fuller said.
What about soldiers who already have tattoos below the knees and elbows? The Army says those tattoos would be grandfathered in.
The plan has approval from Secretary of the Army and former North Country Congressman John McHugh, though he hasn't yet made the change official.
Monday, October 5, 2015, Watertown, NY
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