(CNN) - When vets come back from war, they are usually offered therapy options to deal with their mental and physical pain.
Those include counseling, rehab, group sessions, even hypnosis.
But some military men and women express their pain in other ways, including the art of tattooing.
Samuel Walley is no stranger to tattoos. Each one is a memory in ink, a story, a part of his life.
But Walley said his tattoos are more than just statements or art. They are also therapeutic, especially the ones he's gotten since he lost his limbs to a homemade bomb when he was stationed in Afghanistan.
He's been rehabbing for about 18 months now.
"This limb was pretty much blasted off, immediately," Walley said. "The muscle had contracted back up into the leg. It pretty was gruesome."
Not only do the tattoos detract from Walley's obvious scars, they also help him deal with the pain he has to endure.
He recently got a tattoo of St. Michael, the patron saint of his Army airborne unit.
"When you start getting a tattoo, it actually releases all the pain, and makes your body focus more on the area that's getting tattooed," Walley said.
Tina Marie, owner of Tantrictattoo Boutique in Sandy Spring, MD, works with a lot of wounded vets.
She said many are quiet, but others want, and need, to talk about their experiences.
"People share here a lot of things they wouldn't share with anyone. I just try to listen and be open and not be offended by anything," Marie said.
Which is one of the reasons Walley comes back again and again, to work with Marie.
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