Shaun Young, instructor in the Department of Political Science
Shaun Young has two tattoos — a memento of where he has been and a symbol of where he is going.
On his upper left arm is a colourful phoenix in mid-flight, under a banner emblazoned with the number 2016 — the year Young’s divorce was finalized. He had the tattoo done, unsurprisingly, in 2016.
But the story behind the tattoo isn’t a sad one, Young says, rather it is one of rising anew in the wake of change.
“I got it as a symbol of my rebirth following my divorce, which was amicable, genuinely, so it’s not a negative story,” he says. “It’s the phoenix emerging from the ashes.”
On his forearm is a tattoo Young says is from “a lifetime ago” — more than 20 years, he estimates. The text reads “Airborne Gunners,” arched above a set of wings and a parachute.
Immediately after graduating high school, Young joined the Canadian military, where he served for six years and became a member of the now-defunct Canadian Airborne Regiment.
The text on his tattoo is fairly straightforward: he was a paratrooper, hence the “Airborne,” in an artillery unit, hence the “Gunner.”
Young had the tattoo done while he was stationed in Petawawa, Ont. He says it was done by a married couple who travelled to military bases in a Winnebago, where they would tattoo soldiers.
“That set-up was a bit sketchier,” he laughs. “But it was a Saturday.”