Atlanta Falcons Linebacker Tyler Starr Responds To Questions About His Medal Of Honor Tattoo

 

 

 

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Atlanta –   Over the past several weeks we have received a ton of emails asking about Atlanta Falcons Linebacker Tyler Starr and the Medal of Honor tattoo on his right shoulder. We reached out to the Falcons via email and posed the question, although they didn’t respond to us directly they posted an article on their website about it. Seems they were also getting a lot of questions about it.

In the article, courtesy of Jay Adams from AtlantaFalcons.com,he says it is a memorial to his grandfather.

 

Growing up, Tyler Starr’s grandfather must have seemed 10 feet tall to him. It had nothing to do with physical stature. It was much more about what he had accomplished.

A Vietnam veteran and career military man, Starr’s grandfather, James D. Starr, served in the Marines and Air Force, eventually becoming intelligence personnel before he passed away on Nov. 11, 2001.

Tyler Starr found a way to memorialize the grandfather who was so important to him growing up by tattooing his own version of a military medal on his right arm.

“It’s different from the congressional medal of honor because it’s got a different amount of stars on it. The engraving — I switched it up a little bit so that way it’s not exactly like a medal of honor,” the Falcons rookie defensive end said. “I didn’t want to copy an exact medal from the military. I just kind of tweaked it. … It’s what I wanted to do remember him by.”

The tattoo serves as motivation for the Falcons’ seventh-round pick. As someone who holds the military in high esteem, Starr draws plenty of inspiration from the artwork on his right arm.

It also helps him recall special childhood memories of his grandfather, like Christmases when his family would pull out old movies of his grandfather from his visits to Air Force bases around the world.

Years after getting the tattoo, Starr is finding that the ink symbolizes and honors much more than just his grandfather.

Starr’s brother, Ben Starr, who turns 20 years old next month, will be leaving for Marine Corps boot camp in December.

“I have a lot of respect for the military,” Tyler Starr said. “My brother’s going in and I have some other friends in the military, so now I show my support for them (through the tattoo) because if it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t be doing what we’re doing today.”

 

The tattoo on Tyler’s arm is actually the Army version of the Medal of Honor, there are three versions, one for the Army, one for the Air Force and one for the Navy,  Marine Corps and Coast Guard.

medal-of-honor_medal

 

Here is a closer look at the one on Tyler’s arm, we also checked the database and his grandfather was not a recipient of the Medal of Honor.

 

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He also says in the article above, that he changed the design up, and that he has a different amount of stars than the Medal of Honor actually has. The Medal of Honor, all three versions have thirteen stars on them that represent the original thirteen colonies, I also count thirteen stars on Tyler’s tattoo.

 

When you compare the tattoo on Tyler’s arm to the official Army medal, I don’t see much difference.

types-army

 

I hope this answers all the questions everyone had about why he has the tattoo and what it represents to him. I know their will still be controversy as to whether he should have this tattoo or not, since he nor his grandfather earned it, but this is his official reasoning as to having the tattoo.

 

What are your thoughts?
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21 comments on “Atlanta Falcons Linebacker Tyler Starr Responds To Questions About His Medal Of Honor Tattoo
  1. I really don’t see a big issue with it. The official statement makes no claims of either him or his grandfather having earned it. He is not trying to benefit in any way by having it. He is proud of his grandfather’s service, his friends’ service, and now his brothers service. He may have his facts skewed about the actual medal, but once again, it is not a big deal…

    • What about the guy that gets a trident or long tab tattoo and then says it’s to “honor SOF”? Is that OK? No, it’s not. The MOH is the United States of America’s highest military honor, awarded for personal acts of valor above and beyond the call of duty. Why should this football player get a pass for having it tattooed on his body? To honor his grand dad? Please.

  2. It’s a tattoo! I’ve seen more insulting tattoos than this one. Does it misrepresent the proud tradition of the military? I don’t think so. Is he trying to gain something by having it? Doesn’t appear to be. So what’s the big deal. As a Vietnam Vet … his wearing that tattoo doesn’t bother me at all. Getting shit on when we came on, watching others run off to Canada, being told we were losers ………. that was an insult … THIS is nothing to get upset about. Leave him be!

  3. As long as he doesn’t earn money or accolades by claiming to have a decoration that he doesn’t deserve, then he hasn’t broken any rules or laws. I think it is in bad taste and he should’ve found a better tattoo with which to honor his grandfather, but it is after all, his body. Throwing a fit or acting a fool over this is stupid. I have served in the Marine Corps for 8 years and Army for 10. I am not going to lose sleep over this young man’s poor decision.

  4. well lets see 37 medal of honors were given out after wounded knee so if he is doing it to remember someone close it is not a big deal but,37 given out to kill old men and women there is a problem and it takes a 100 yrs for Teddy Roosevelt to get his lets all just take a breather

  5. Bad judgement in my eyes, but he will have to live with it…hopefully he doesn’t run into someone who was awarded one and give that same lame reason.
    Army MOH in honor of Air Force/Marine family member? Maybe he should read what those MOH recipients have endured to receive one and what it means to all of us who have served, then maybe he will get it removed.

    Semper Fi!

  6. Disappointing that he is lying about the number of stars. This really can only be construed as a lie to try and justify a poor decision. To me this is upsetting in the same way that football players call themselves warriors, now in addition to rings, they get self appointed medals. Perhaps he does look up to his grandfather, but his grandfather obviously didn’t talk much about his actual service, or Starr didn’t listen or care to do a little research to get a tattoo that might actually memorialize his service. Maybe when his brother gets back from boot camp, he can explain what it takes for a Marine to earn the medal of honor.

  7. Seems like a far flung reason.. Granted not the best tattoo or what have you. At least he wanted to honor people who served and held his heart close.. Seriously, this story feels like a witch hunt.

  8. I am a Vietnam vet and I don’t see a problem he didn’t claim he earned it . He is just proud of his family member and wanted to honor him

  9. So he got a tat to honor his grandfather’s honorable service and the future service of his brother. He NEVER claimed his grandfather was a recipient. He NEVER claimed his brother is. He NEVER claimed that medal is his. It has personal meaning to him that he explained publicly. 90% of the time it’s covered and not visible to the public. How is that “stealing” someone’s valor? If that was his goal, don’t you think he’d have placed the tat somewhere it would be readily visible to the public so he could bask in the glow of that public’s adoration? This Marine veteran thanks his grandfather for his service, welcomes his brother into the Marine family, and has no problem whatsoever with the tattoo. Calm down.

  10. Another moronic response to “why did you get a tattoo of something you did not earn?” Sounds like the other morons answer to why they got a Navy SEAL trident tattoo. Gotta love the freedom of speech and the way these idiots use it. “My grandpop was in the Marines and Air Force, so I got an Army MOH tattoo to honor him”. Yea, makes sense….to another moron. Just another turd faker making excuses for his posing….

  11. I think its fine its his body and its for a great reason lay off the kid he seems like a really nice dued that loves his country i think we need more like him GO FALCONS! !!

  12. I’ve never served. I’m mindful that I had that choice due to so many who have volunteered and continue to volunteer. Thank you for your service. Sincerely. I’d like to say that if Tyler’s tattoo makes you angry because you served and he didn’t, who am I to criticize or tell you to calm down. You’ve more than earned the right to protect the honors that result from service. So why am I commenting? Plain and simply, because I know Tyler and his family. Tyler grew up just up the street from my folks in a very small town in Iowa. While I haven’t talked to him about his tattoo, I can tell you that knowing his family, and him, he would be devastated to hear that his attempt at honoring his grandpa has created anger for anyone. If it helps, he’s a good kid and he has been handed nothing. His family works hard, and are good people. God, family, country. The type of American family worth fighting for. I hope, if you are angry about his tattoo, that you consider keeping your criticism constructive. It is important that the general public, like myself, be reminded that service, and the honors that come with it are not to be taken for granted. Defend, remind, and uphold, but don’t attack… it seems like we should save that for the real enemies.

  13. I’ve never served. I’m mindful that I had that choice due to so many who have volunteered and continue to volunteer. Thank you for your service. Sincerely. I’d like to say that if Tyler’s tattoo makes you angry because you served and he didn’t, who am I to criticize or tell you to calm down. You’ve more than earned the right to protect the honors that result from service. So why am I commenting? Plain and simply, because I know Tyler and his family. Tyler grew up just up the street from my folks in a very small town in Iowa. While I haven’t talked to him about his tattoo, I can tell you that knowing his family, and him, he would be devastated to hear that his attempt at honoring his grandpa has created anger for anyone. If it helps, he’s a good kid and he has been handed nothing. His family works hard, and are good people. God, family, country. The type of American family worth fighting for. I hope, if you are angry about his tattoo, that you consider keeping your criticism constructive. It is important that the general public, like myself, be reminded that service, and the honors that come with it are not to be taken for granted. So, by all means, defend, remind, and uphold, but don’t attack… it seems like we should save that for real enemies?

  14. How would I go about finding out about someone who was (I believe) dishonorably discharged from the Navy for too many DUI’s in 2009? Served nine years and keeps posting BS about how great it is to be a Veteran and how proud he was to have served. Recently got another DUI then arrested for driving on a suspended license and fire from his job for stealing. Yet he he gets veteran plates for his truck. Thirty some years old and still lives at home because his mother thinks the public owes him a debt of gratitude for defending our freedom and being a hero. I thought if you were dishonorably discharged you got squat. Even bragging rights about how well you served.

  15. Like some of the comments say – it’s his body, he can get whatever tattoo he wants.

    As a disabled vet, I appreciate the fact he wants to honor his grandfather & brother, but he could (or should) go back and modify the tat with “Honoring the memory of those who served and sacrificed” (a small banner in the middle, between the jets & his granddads name is would be the perfect spot to quell this controversy.) But that’s just my opinion.

  16. This is not cool. This guy gets a prestige bonus among the other players for that tattoo. Who knows what he claims when partying with his homies and picking up girls at the bar.
    This is a disgrace.

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