COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) - The Fallen Heroes Tattoo shop is covering up people's racist, prejudiced, and hateful tattoos for free, through a program called Redemption Ink.
The program has existed for a few years, but its mission is more pertinent now than ever.
David Brown, owner of Fallen Heroes Tattoo, says the program was founded with the hope of giving people who lost their way a second chance at leading a life they're proud of.
For ex-convict John Waldon, Redemption Ink has done just that.
“Watching this stuff go away is just a chapter closed, and a new chapter open for me," Waldon said. "You're not a victim of your circumstances. You either choose to stay in that or you choose to be better. We all have a choice."
Waldon, who was formerly affiliated with white supremacy groups and served six years in federal prison, says his fiancee and his step-daughter, who is half-black, inspired him to turn his life around. And for him, the first step in leaving his past behind was no longer seeing it reflected in his tattoos.
"It's hard to get past the past when it's staring at you," Waldon said. "When you got a giant swastika on your chest, you walk to the pool with your kids and it's like the red sea parting."
But getting his hateful tattoos covered is just one step in Waldon's new path. He says the real work to redemption starts at home with his kids.
“I just teach them to watch out for themselves, treat others the way you'd like to be treated, and carry yourself in a good manner," Waldon said.
If you have racist or prejudiced tattoos you'd like to get covered, you can apply for the "Redemption Ink" program here.