Jacksonville, N.C. — Tattoos have always been a big part of the military culture, telling a story for and about the fighting men and women who bear them.
Some of those tales from Camp Lejeune could get the Hollywood treatment if a Jacksonville tattoo parlor becomes the setting for a new reality show.
Skin Art Tattoo Studio, at 331 Western Blvd., is one of several places on Jacksonville's main drag that caters to the crowd from Camp Lejeune and Marine Corps Air Station New River.
"We are proud and honored to work with the military," owner Steve Mishoe said.
Mishoe owns the studio with his sons, Allen and Jack. "It's a family-run business," he says. "We've been here 24 years."
His granddaughter Gabrielle drops in from time and time. She's showing signs she could be sketching her way into the family business.
The Mishoe family dynamic caught the attention of television producer Lou Pazarro, who called the idea of a "Military Ink" show a "no-brainer."
A show that tells the tale of American troops, their tattoos and the artists who line, shade and color could be a fit for the History Channel, Pazarro said.
Sgt. Nicholas Shannon recently returned from Afghanistan and added ink in honor of a friend. Shannon said his tattoo was a memorial to Sgt. Christopher Hrbeck, who died at the age of 25 when he stepped on an improvised explosive device, or IED.
Other young Marines get religious symbols tattooed on their bodies. Before they are deployed, they want a physical representation of the higher power they believe is looking out for them.
It's all in a day's work for the Mishoes, who say that, with or without a TV show, they will continue to help troops express their feelings or blot them out.
"It's just what we do each and every day," Steve Mishoe said.
While there is no official air date for the series, Pazarro said he's talking to several interested parties.