Tattoo shop on MacDill Air Force Base reflects changing military culture

American Tattoo Society on MacDill Air Force Base is just as creative and edgy as any tattoo shop, but most of its clients are likely covering their ink with a uniform. 

This is the second location for American Tattoo Society on an Air Force Base. Senior Airman Jarren Sheppard is a regular client at the shop. 

"I find it awesome, because I enjoy tattoos, I love how they look," Sheppard said. "I'd say like a solid 90% of military has tattoos or interested in getting tattoos."

American Tattoo Society owner Ryan Harrell said the first one opened on Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada. They eventually heard MacDill was looking to open one on its base. 

"I think it's great," said Harrell. "I think it shows that it's more accepted now and everyone is looking at tattoos now as something everyone gets in the military anyway so why not give them the opportunity that the military and the public health can come in and inspect on a regular basis."

While it's reflective of the changing times and culture, the shop follows the standards set in place by each military branch. 

"We will not tattoo out of regulations. Anything that could be sensitive or controversial we don't tattoo. We turn it down," said Harrell.

The convenience and cost keep service members at MacDill coming back. 

"One of the reasons why we're here is that we can give them a high quality premium tattoo for not a high premium price," said Harrell.

While service members leave the shop with something they'll never forget, their contribution has left a permanent mark here.

"We feel like it's our way to serve them for serving us and serving the country," said Harrell.

For more information about American Tattoo Society, click here