Some people get tattoos for the look of them.
However, others want to deliver a message that is so much more than skin deep.
“I was thinking the rib cage,” Veteran Bob McGuffin told us. “Just because my experience was pills and alcohol.”
McGuffin has tried to end his life two times, but he said the tattoo of a semi-colon on his rib cage will remind him that his story is far from over.
“I’ve struggled, gotten better. I’ve gotten to know better,” he said.
It’s all part of what’s called the “Semi-Colon Project’, which came about to raise awareness about suicide and mental illnesses.
“This is what it was for her,” Cold Desert Tattoo employee Julie McLemore said. “It was a pause in her life, it was a break, but it was not the end of her story. Her story wasn’t over yet.”
The tattoo will remain close to Bob’s heart, as a reminder than he can live through struggles and he is not alone.
“Everybody knows somebody. They’ve got a family member. They’ve got a friend,” McGuffin added.
“I have had my struggles,” said Andy Yarbrough, a veteran and founder of a local non-profit organization called ‘Our HOME’. “I’m a combat vet and the residue of war is very difficult to deal with sometimes.”
Yarbrough served in Afghanistan for Operation Enduring Freedom.
“So what we’re hoping is by people sharing their stories, people understand that it’s nothing to be ashamed about and that it’s something we should share, overcoming stories so we can empower others to do the same,” he added.
Together, they’re sharing a message that your life can go on even after the deepest of struggles.
A fundraiser is being held at the Cold Desert Tattoo Shop in Monroe starting October 10th.
They will be offering semi-colon tattoos for $20.
Organizers said if you want to add to your tattoo other than what is being offered you will have to pay $40 for that tattoo.
The proceeds will go to a variety of organizations helping those with suicidal thoughts or mental illnesses.
To learn more visit the event’s Facebook page here– https://www.facebook.com/events/126730181242316/ .