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"REVERSE DISCRIMINATION WRONG"
SAYS HISPANIC SGT MAJOR (RET) IN TEXAS
GUARD - SSG JOHN ROHMFELD VICTIMIZED
"BIAS AGAINST ANGLOS OR HISPANICS
EQUALLY EVIL" SAYS SGM ARNOLD DIAZ
SSG John Rohmfeld has won a powerful ally in his fight to prove he was a victim of racial discrimination during his years in the Texas Army National Guard.
Now-retired SGM Arnold Diaz of Corpus Christi, tells MilitaryCorruption.com he witnessed abusive treatment of the "Anglo" noncom and wants to speak out against it.
"I know what it's like to be excluded because of one's ethnic background," Diaz said. "For more than twenty years I was illegally kept in grade as a National Guard SFC E-7 when youngsters I saw come out of boot camp were promoted past me!"
All this happened, despite Diaz meeting every requirement for promotion. The veteran NCO even had earned a BS from New Mexico State University, when only four per cent of all enlisted people in the Army had college degrees.
"But the GOOD OLD BOY SYSTEM in the Guard prevailed, and year-after-year I was denied a promotion I had earned and deserved," Diaz said.
It was only when Diaz went to his local Congressman, Solomon Ortiz, for help that the Guard acknowledged that they had indeed discriminated against the Hispanic sergeant.
Now Diaz receives a retirement pension as a sergeant major E-9.
LOOKING OUT FOR A FELLOW NCO
"But John Rohmfeld never got past E-6, and not only was he discriminated against by his Hispanic supervisor (an E-7), but he was injured on duty as well."
Diaz said he witnessed the Hispanic NCO make Rohmfeld work in a noisy vehicle and equipment repair shop without benefit of ear guard protection.
"John told me his senior NCO wouldn't let him wear protection. And so John got tinnitus as a result."
Diaz also saw how the Hispanic senior NCO would speak only "Spanish" whenever he was around Rohmfeld. "This, I believe, was a tactic to isolate John and make him aware that he - an Anglo - was unwelcome in the shop," Diaz said.
A SENSE OF HONOR AND DECENCY
"I was raised by my parents to speak out and fight against injustice, whether it affected me or another person," Diaz explained.
"If my rights were recognized as a Hispanic, why shouldn't John be afforded the same protection under the law? The way he was treated is a travesty of justice. And it needs to be corrected without delay."
"Arnold has done a courageous thing," Rohmfeld told MilitaryCorruption.com. " He knows speaking out in my behalf won't win him any friends in the Hispanic community. But he is such a good and decent man, he's doing what his conscience tells him is morally right to do."
Rohmfeld, a former staff sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps, has no hatred for his tormenters.
"I don't discriminate against anybody - we're all God's children," he said. "Sure, I resent what my boss did to me. But I forgive him his cruelty."
"What I need now is justice. I get only 10 per cent disability rating from the VA. That is a joke and a fraud! And I was illegally put out of the Guard just short of retirement - AFTER I was injured in the line of duty."
The determined career NCO has enlisted the help of Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison in his fight for fair treatment.
Rohmfeld is seeking retirement in the rank of master sergeant E-8 - "a rank I would have held if I had not been unlawfully discharged," - as well as back pay and allowances.
He also needs an upgrade in his VA disability pension.
"I cannot work, I'm in pain much of the time," Rohmfeld said.
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