JOSHUA CARTER, WHOSE photo appears on the cover of the Boilermaker Reporter, wears his devotion to the Boilermaker trade where anyone can readily see it — on his right forearm.
“Once I started boiler-making, I knew I wasn’t going to do anything else,” said the graduate apprentice from Local 69 (Little Rock, Ark.).
Two months after being indentured in 2010, the Benton, Ark., native began sitting down with a cousin, Ian Smith, a Boilermaker and also a talented tattoo artist. It was Smith (who passed away in August) who had encouraged Carter to apply for an apprenticeship.
Smith emblazoned Carter’s arm with the phrase, “Boilermakers L.U. 69, union til I die,” along with various symbols of the trade, including an image of a stick welder, a shackle, a TIG torch, and a “no rat” symbol. Across his knuckles are the letters BMTW (for Boilermaker tube welder).
“The two of us worked in anything that we could think of that relates to the trade,” Carter said.
Carter earned the right to represent his local and the Southeast Area in the 2013 National Apprenticeship Competition.