Monday, April 7, 2008

The face behind the tattoo.

The name Ian S.W. may sound familiar to you. He has been mentioned in this blog before, and his tattoo story has been shared with you. Now you'll be able to see the face behind the tattoo.

Ian Scott Wheeler was born on August 20, 1984 on a US military base in Bitburg Germany, he has an older brother and younger sister. Both of his parents were in the Air Force, his mother was a crew chief on F- 15's and his father was an MP (Military Police). Two years after Ian's birth his family was relocated to Davis Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, Arizona and when he was in 7th grade his family was again relocated to Klamath Falls, Oregon. (A typical story for your average army brat.) The children were sent to stay with their grandparents in Virginia while their parents searched for a place to stay in Oregon. It seemed like a dream come true, that summer their parents found the perfect 2-story house for their family. Driving back to his father's parents house they were struck by a drunk driver; the impact instantly killed Ian's father. That year Ian's mother decided that she wanted to live closer to her family and they moved to Virginia, while living there she met a man she fell in love with, and the Wheelers packed up one more time and moved to Connecticut.

Ian graduated from Southington High School in 2003 with absolutely no interest of ever going into the military. In September of 2003 he started his first semester at the center for Culinary arts in Cromwell, CT. In the summer of 2004 he went down to Parris Island, South Carolina to attend his brother's Marine Corps graduation. It was that very day that Ian realized what he wanted to do. He said "Once my brother's graduation began I was kind of mesmerized by it, seeing hundreds of new marines all marching on beat and marching as if they were preparing for a battle during the civil war." On July 22, 2004 Ian Scott Wheeler enlisted, on December 27, 2004 he graduated from the culinary arts school, and on January 6, 2005 he was off to boot camp. He graduated on April 10, 2005, and left for his first deployment in January of '06.

Ian left for his last deployment in November of 2007, and he will be returning in June of this year. He plans on getting out of the Marines in December of '08 and attending college in pursuit of his degree in Business. When asked if he regrets joining the Marines, Ian simply says "No, because I have grown as a man, I have experienced more things then I could have ever imagined, I've met some of the most interesting people and made life long friends. Not only that, I have had the opportunity to travel to some exotic locations such as: Hawaii, Australia, Thailand, Kuwait, Bangladesh, Singapore, Dubai, and Bahrain." Now how many of us can say that?

When asked how he got into tattoos, Ian pointed out that like many of us, he has been fascinated with tattoos for as long as he can remember. When he was younger , he felt envious of guys who had their sleeves finished. And since military men are notorious for their tattoos, he thought there's no better time than now to get started. After his first tattoo, the military began enforcing a new rule, that would not allow for full sleeves. Looks like it will be a while before Mr. Wheeler can finish up his work of art.

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