Army veteran Marie Oberloh’s first tattoo was her name in Korean. She, like many who go under the needle, fell in love with ink soon after, an obsession that eventually turned her body into a canvas for numerous works of art.

“I see an empty space and feel the need to fill it!” she told Military Times. “Sometimes I just get an idea and consult my tattoo artist and she knows exactly what I mean!”

Now, Oberloh is vying for a coveted spot on the cover of Inked magazine, which comes with a hefty $25,000 prize. So far, she has made her way beyond the quarterfinals, and is third in the running.

“Last year, thousands of the world’s hottest tattoo models registered for their chance to be named our next cover model and be featured on the cover of the world’s number one tattoo lifestyle magazine,” the magazine’s entry page reads.

A disabled veteran who retired in 2014 as a captain after serving a 2010 tour in Iraq, Oberloh now works both for a dog rescue and as an advocate for mental health awareness.

“I would donate 10 percent to my rescue I work with, buy a new sewing machine for my small business making collars and leashes,” she said in her entry profile.

Oberloh hopes that the veteran community will vote and rally to push her into the lead.

“I think that tattoos are a way to honor our service and sacrifice but also where we have traveled and served.”

You can visit Marie’s voter profile here.

Observation Post is the Military Times one-stop shop for all things off-duty. Stories may reflect author observations.

Sarah Sicard is a Senior Editor with Military Times. She previously served as the Digitial Editor of Military Times and the Army Times Editor. Other work can be found at National Defense Magazine, Task & Purpose, and Defense News.

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