If you're ever lucky enough to be in Afghanistan, Gunnery Sgt. Benjamin Lepping’s left butt cheek has a special surprise.


Sarah Palin.

Or, as Lepping puts it, "the hottest cougar in the Republican Party."

News of Lepping's Palin tattoo -- which displays her trademark glasses and smiling mug -- has apparently been making the rounds in Lepping's ranks overseas, and appeared online at the Military Times website on Thursday. The Times' headline was, "Marine’s cheeky Sarah Palin tattoo the butt of jokes."

"When I came to Afghanistan, I expected to find many strange and unusual sights," the paper's reporter penned. "A gunnery sergeant with a tattoo of Sarah Palin on his buttocks wasn’t one of them."

The Marine technician, who hails from California regiment and originally from Kentucky, told the paper he got the tattoo while on a mission in Alaska.

“On the way back, I decided I wanted to get a tattoo that reminded me of Alaska, because we really had a good time,” the soldier said. “I decided, ‘What could be better than getting a tattoo of the hottest cougar in the Republican Party?’"

The Marine says he has about thirty tattoos.

“If it was going to be a funny tattoo, I figured it had to be in a funny place,” he quipped to the reporter. “I’d say it’s pretty famous in the southern California area.”

The Times' image of the tattoo includes responses from readers in the comments. One called Lepping's tattoo of the former Vice Presidential hopeful "shameful."

"This is a shameful display by anyone… let alone a Marine," one commenter remarked. "Tell me, would he find it playful and respectful if a LCPl put his face on their butt?? Does he think his [commanding officer] would find it cute and funny if the GySgt put his face on teh [sic] Gunny’s butt?? Highly doubt it!"

"Want a reminder of Alaska put a Moose on your butt," the commenter added. "In my time there I saw alot more moose than any of the Palins. This isn’t about Alaska or memories… this is sadly and simply disrespectful especially considering the location."