Jerry DeGuzman

Sarah Pacheco
Wednesday - February 25, 2009
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“The stereotypical image of a ‘bad-a$$, gruffy tattoo artist’ is so yesterday!”

So proclaims Jerry DeGuzman, owner of the TatCave tattoo shop in Wahiawa. The former Marine recently spearheaded a care-package campaign for soldiers fighting overseas after hearing the personal stories they would tell while getting inked up.

“I would come home and tell my ex-girlfriend (Lauren Ushijima) of some of the hardships our deployed soldiers face every day. It wasn’t until after talking about businesses and social responsibility in one of my college classes that I decided that I should get off my butt and bring this project to fruition,” says the UH-West Oahu student, who also credits Ushijima for suggesting he start up an adopt-a-soldier type of program and for contributing the first items to go overseas.

“We plan on sending care packages to two or four Hawaii-based servicemembers each day once we have enough participants,” he promises. “There is no ‘too little’ or ‘too much’ when it comes to showing a soldier how much you care.”

DeGuzman (above left with tattoo artists Brian Rudd and Willy Risco) and his crew will accept comfort items - DVDs and CDs, magazines, playing cards, nonperishable and microwavable food items, etc. - along with handwritten letters at their shop, located at 1680AWilikina Drive within the historic Kemoo Farms building directly across from Schofield Barracks. Postage will be paid by The TatCave, and short biographies of individual recipients will be available for donors to read.


A comprehensive list of suggested items can be found online at Call 621-1777 for more information.

DeGuzman also owns Sudden Rush Tattoo and Body Piercing in Waipahu, which provided free patriotic tattoos in October 2001 to commemorate the previous month’s World Trade Center tragedy. He also donated a portion of the shop’s proceeds toward the Victim’s Relief Fund. (Items will not be accepted at this location.)

“All of my artists at both shops are family-oriented, and most of them actually have ties to the military. We live by the saying, ‘We give what we get,’ and therefore we try to be the best that we can toward others,” DeGuzman states humbly. “I’m not trying to send a message out to anybody with my effort ... check that - perhaps the best message that can be sent is, ‘Hey, if a tattoo shop can appreciate our military, so can everybody else!’”

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