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For love or country: Air Force hopeful asked to remove cherished tattoo before joining

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A Northern California woman is trying to join the Air Force, but she says military recruiters told her to remove a prominent chest tattoo.

CBS Sacramento says Autumn Armstrong got the tattoo in honor of her younger brother, Bubby, who died 10 years ago. Bubby was found in the next-door neighbor’s pool, and he was just 2 years old.

Armstrong got the ink done four years later, saying that she wanted people to ask about it so she could share memories of her youngest sibling.

For years, she’s wanted to join the Air Force. But she says two recruiters, one in her home state of Missouri and another in Sacramento, told her the tattoo has to go. She says she didn’t know about those regulations when she got the tattoo.

Despite the harsh ultimatum, Armstrong seems amenable to removing the tattoo in order to serve her country.

During Armstrong’s interview with CBS Sacramento, the owner of said the company would be willing to help her get the tattoo removed. The owner plans to match donations made to her crowdfunding effort.

From honoring her brother to honoring her country, she says Bubby would want her to live each day as a gift.

“I think he would be super proud of me I think he’d be like, ‘Go Sissy,'” she said.

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