When I was in elementary school, my dad was deployed to Afghanistan. Shortly before he left, he took me and my two younger siblings outside and showed us the constellation Orion. He told us that "Orion" would be his call sign and that whenever we missed him, we could see the constellation and think of him. When he missed us, he said he'd look at the three stars in Orion's belt and would think of the three of us.
His call sign ended up changing while he was overseas, but Orion has always stayed close to my heart. As I've grown up, I have thought of my dad every time I've looked at the stars and seen Orion and his belt.
I decided in high school that I wanted to make Orion a permanent part of me and planned to get it tattooed on my 18th birthday. I told my parents and they decided they wanted to get it as well.
We kept saying we'd go every time we were all home for a weekend and we just never got around to it - until last weekend. They came to visit me at school and we bit the bullet. We walked into Iron Lotus Tattoo in Charleston and, less than an hour later, we each had a small image of Orion's stars on our wrists.
The experience I shared with my mom and dad was invaluable. I think of them each time I see Orion on my wrist and I know that they think of me when they see Orion on theirs. As my siblings grow up, I get excited to think about them joining the club and getting Orion with us.