By Maria Medina

MARYSVILLE (CBS13) — A local woman wants to serve our nation, but she says military recruiters told her she must first get rid of the tattoo she got in memory of her brother.

It’s a simple line, just five words that Autumn Armstrong lives by every day.

“Each day is a gift,” she said. “Because you never know when it could be your last.”

She began to live that way 10 years ago on a day that’s still as painful as it was when it happened.

Her mother found her youngest sibling, Bubby, in her next-door neighbor’s pool. He died just one week after turning 2.

Four years later, she got a chest tattoo in honor of Bubby.

“I wanted people to see it and be like ‘Oh, what is that?’ and read that each day is a gift, and maybe I should take that into account,” she said.

But now Armstrong plans to get rid of it. it’s a tough decision she says she wouldn’t make for just any reason.

For years, she’s wanted to join the Air Force. But she says two recruiters, one in her home state of Missouri and another in Sacramento, told her the tattoo has to go. She says she didn’t know about those regulations when she got the tattoo.

“When you make choices in life sometimes you have to fix them or redo or move on,” she said.

It was during our interview that we got word from the owner of said they would be willing to help her get the tattoo removed. The owner will match donations made to her crowdfunding effort on

“It’s amazing,” Armstrong said, crying.

From honoring her brother to honoring her country, she says Bubby would want her to live each day as a gift.

“I think he would be super proud of me I think he’d be like, ‘Go Sissy,’” she said.

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