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NCR Diversity and Inclusion Newsletter #8

September 24, 2020

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Hispanic Heritage Month is observed from 15 September - 15 October of each year. The observance is celebrated during this time frame due to many significant events for various Hispanic communities that fall within the observance period. The President issues a Proclamation each year calling on the people of the United States, especially the educational community, to observe National Hispanic Heritage Month with appropriate ceremonies and activities. Hispanics have had a profound and positive influence on our country through their strong commitment to family, faith, hard work, and service. They have enhanced and shaped our national character with centuries-old traditions that reflect the multi-ethnic and multicultural customs of their community

Sergeant Consuelo Mary Hartsell. One of seven children, she grew up in Rawlins, Wyoming, the only Latino family in town.  In the fall of 1944, Hartsell and her sister, Juniata enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps Women's Reserve. (Four of the Macias children eventually became Marines.) The sisters were sent to boot camp at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, the only sisters and the only Latinas in the camp. Both were assigned office jobs at the Depot of Supplies of the 1st Marine Division in San Francisco. Hartsell was assigned a desk job overseeing supplies shipped to and from overseas. She left the service in 1946. She was awarded American Campaign and World War II victory medals, as well as recognition for her honorable service.

Staff Sergeant Ladislao “L.C.” Castro, the assistant engineer and waist door .50 caliber gunner on a B-24 Liberator bomber named “T-Bar” of the "Flying Eightballs" in the 506th Squadron, 44th Bombardment Group (Heavy), 8th Air Force. On March 18, 1944, as Castro was completing his final (21st) mission prior to deploying home, the T-Bar was shot down after a raid on the southern German city of Friedrichshafen near the Swiss border. Castro parachuted from his crippled plane into German-occupied France. While the rest of the 10-man crew were captured, Castro evaded capture until discovered by French farmers. The farmers took him to the French Underground, the French resistance movement. He was then taken to Amiens, France where he was hidden with 16 other airmen for five months until the city was liberated by the Canadian Army on September 1st, 1944. But, Castro’s service did not end there; he was recalled to active duty as an Air Force mechanic during the Korean War and later served for 22 years as a civil servant at Bergstrom Air Force Base at Austin, Texas, the same place he enlisted to fight in World War II.

Corporal Julius Casarez. “My brother told me that if I enlisted sooner rather than later, I could pick where I wanted to be stationed,” he shared in an interview. Little did he know that when he enlisted, the Japanese were only a few days away from bombing Pearl Harbor, and he’d be forced to go where the Army told him to go.  Private Casarez and the rest of his unit served there a few months as machine gunners. Finally, they were sent over the Himalaya Mountains. A month later the Japanese chased the Army unit out of China, where they’d been stationed. Now in Burma, part of Casarez’s unit's duties were to protect the bridges that had recently been built as a way of transporting supplies to Army units at the front. Casarez's unit would shoot at the Japanese planes that would try to bomb the bridges. Casarez finished out the war in the China-Burma-India Theater. He’d spent close to four years fighting not only people but the time and the elements. Finally, word came in 1945 that he could go home. However, the unit couldn’t arrange transportation out of the area. After about a month, his captain finally told the troops to, "get out of here the best way you can." Casarez hitchhiked across China until he was able to locate an allied airstrip where, eventually, he was one of the lucky few able to take an airplane home. Corporal Casarez was discharged in November of 1945.

Unconscious Bias 
To be biased is to be human.  You’re biased, but so am I; we all are.  If we can’t acknowledge our biases or worst yet, if we don’t try to, we are inviting them to divide us.  Let’s take a pause.  Let listen.  Let talk. Let change for the better.  Aim High Airman. 

U.S. Air Force  Unconscious Bias
Video is 3 minutes and 3 seconds.  Posted 31 July, 2020

Short Exercise on Unconscious Biases
Write down your immediate response in a word or two when you read 
the list of words or phrases below.
After you’ve provided your responses to the list below, put a plus or minus next to each response indicating
if your response is a positive or negative thought or feeling.
Discuss what does it mean if you had all pluses?  What does it mean if you have some minuses? 
Discuss how your personal biases could influence how you interact with members of your unit/flight or could 
hinder how your unit/flight would accomplish tasks.

1.      Has a tattoo
2.      Differently-abled 
3.      Native American
4.      Elderly adult
5.      Female adult
6.      Homeschooled
7.      Lives in an apartment
8.      Overweight person

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