|Major Hector Quintanilla|
UFOs And Racism...
by Alfred Lehmberg
By way of example, I once had a very white, blue-eyed Italian American and West Point second lieutenant tell me in the late seventies, during a helicopter live fire exercise at an aerial gunnery range in Germany, that he'd been mentored against expecting to be a General officer in the Armed Forces simply because his name ended in a VOWEL. This officer was even of some positive notoriety: he was feted as having kicked a winning field goal in an Army/Navy grudge game #78. One would have thought that that might get him a star, but his hopes were not high.
With his career at stake from the beginning because of his ethnicity, he would follow his orders with a smile on his face and a resolute chin set. He would also try diligently to adhere to the party line. Quintanilla knew which way the wind blew. That he was where he was, at all, is stark evidence of that.
Privy to a bit more of the big picture than the rank and file citizen of the time and on direction of his suspiciously motivated superiors, Quintanilla would have prosecuted that distorted picture with rare diligence if he wanted to keep a position and rank so meaningful to him. He might swallow pride and he might even compromise ethical principles, but he would be able at the same time to rationalize his contribution as the performance of his assigned and implied duty, which it assuredly was. Quintanilla is the innocent in all of this—a man under inordinate pressure—and at the cruel whim of his white ticket-puncher.
|Col. Robert Friend|