His son was young and full of life, just like so many of the victims killed in the mass shooting at an Orlando club. Tom Sullivan's heart aches for the families who lost loved ones in the massacre at the Pulse nightclub.
"I know what those parents are doing, you know, that day, I know what that phone call was like, I know where they were running to," said Sullivan.
Sullivan knows those parents are going through, his son Alex is one of 12 victims who died in the Aurora movie theater shooting.
He turned on the TV Sunday morning to watch an early soccer game and soon learned of the shooting. Sullivan and his wife watched the news for a while but soon they had to turn the TV off.
"You know my wife would just start crying every time," said Sullivan.
Sullivan has turned his grief into action. He's currently running for the state Senate. He also successfully lobbied for a ban on high capacity magazines and stricter background checks for private gun sales.
The tattoo on his arm is a constant reminder of his son and his loss. A black ribbon with a green heart in the middle honors his son Alex who died on his 27th birthday.
"The parents are going to have to look around and see you know what a difference their sons or daughters made to other people's lives and they will get to hold on to that, that's what we get to hold on to," said Sullivan.