Serving in the armed forces is a unique experience that many may find difficult to process upon their return home from serving overseas. The combination of the culture shock, often-extreme physical and psychological conditions and, in many cases, the loss of friends in the line of duty can weigh heavily on the psyches of the country's soldiers.

For this reason, it's not at all uncommon for returning soldiers to become ensconced in the world of tattooing. The permanent and personal  nature of body art is, for many, a perfect way to to show solidarity, express their experience and memorialize lost comrades.

One U.K.-based tattoo artist is choosing to express his appreciation for the country's veterans and active soldiers in a way that makes unique use of his skills – through tattooing. The Chronicle Live, a subsidiary of the U.K.'s Trinity Mirror, reported that tattoo artist Stephen Rootes has announced that he'll be providing memorial tattoos for veterans and current soldiers during the holiday season – for free. Between Dec. 22 and 24, Rootes will be administering a custom-designed memorial poppy tattoo, limned with the words "lest we forget" – the global symbol of remembrance. The source reported that Rootes decided to stretch the event into a three-day time period so that he'd be able to tattoo as many veterans as possible.

As The Chronicle Live reported, Rootes has a history of tattoo-related altruism. He's known for offering free cover-up tattoos to people usually on a monthly basis. Not only is Rootes helping veterans cope with their experience in the armed forces, he's also helping to protect everyday citizens from bad tattoos and tattoo regret as well.

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