Enlistment Issues
A mistake may prevent a teen from joining the military

Lindsay Watts / Reporter
Last updated: Sunday, March 30th, 2008 08:47:41 PM

YAKIMA -- A Yakima teenager dreams of joining the Marines, but a mistake from his past could stand in the way.

Years ago Jamie Rodom gave himself a tattoo that says "hate and love." The "love" part faded, but he can't get rid of the other letters.

The Marine Corps. allows some tattoos, but no ink with anti-social messages.

"It looked cool at the time, says Rodom. "Now that it's there it's hard to get jobs, and I won't be able to get into the Marines with it on. It's just one of my regrets."

A recruitment official we spoke with says Rodom's tattoo isn't an automatic disqualifier, but it will make enlisting more difficult.

Rodom lives with his grandmother. She says they don't have the money for tattoo removal. That can cost thousands of dollars.

Rodom has tried to burn the tattoo off himself by burning himself with a hot metal clothing hanger. It didn't work, so now he's trying to get a part-time job to pay for professional removal.