Winston-Salem veteran gets free tattoo removal

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — In 1993, when Linda Thompson was in the Army, she and a group of fellow soldiers decided to get tattoos.

Now, years later, she said she’s having “tattoo regret.”

On Veterans Day, Thompson and her mother, Sara Jenkins, who is an Air Force veteran, came to the Carolina Laser and Cosmetic Center to begin the process of removing the tattoo.

Thompson said her tattoo of “Pebbles” from “The Flintstones” isn’t quite what it was when she first got it.

“When I had it placed over 20 years ago, her face was round, and now she’s in need of a facelift,” Thompson said jokingly.

Thompson said her tattoo has made it is difficult for her to wear formal clothing.

“I can’t buy clothing to dress up for formal occasions where my tattoo’s not showing,” she said.

Normally a session would cost anywhere between $175-1,000 depending on the size of the tattoo.

However, Dr. Anne White, offered free sessions to all active military members and veterans to thank them for their service.

“I just think that it’s important to give back,” White said. “And who better to give back to than veterans or our military who put their lives on the line everyday to protect us?”

She explained that veterans face many challenges when they return from military duty, one of which is finding a job.

White explained that many of her military patients in the past have said that visible tattoos have made it difficult for them to get jobs.

Because tattoo removal is a long, multi-session procedure, Thompson will have to come back to get Pebbles to disappear completely.

After one session, Thompson’s red-headed Pebbles tattoo had mostly faded to white.