A former Air Force airman who claims she was discharged for accusing her boss of racism says she has hired a lawyer and plans to sue the service.
"I'm going to fight this," Tia Armour said Tuesday. "Somebody, somewhere is going to admit this is not right."
Armour said she believes she got a quicker-than-expected exit because she had gone public with her complaints against the Air Force. She was discharged Friday, a week after she told her story in the Northwest Florida Daily News of Fort Walton Beach.
"I got in terrible trouble over the article," she said. "The people in my unit were very upset."
Officials at this Florida Panhandle base where she was stationed declined comment.
Armour said she complained June 11 to the base's social actions office that her boss made what she considered a racist comment by telling her "I've never supervised a black person before."
She said the Air Force responded by ordering her to undergo a psychological evaluation, demoting her and decertifying her as a weather observer.
The Air Force then notified her July 30 that she would be discharged. Armour tried to fight the discharge with help from her hometown congressman, Rep. Glen Browder, D-Ala., and thought the matter was on hold pending an investigation.
Friday, she said, the discharge was carried out and she was given $45 for a bus ticket home. She said officials told her they had found her superior innocent of discrimination and that they wanted her out of the Air Force.
"If you try to use the system, they use it against you," Armour said.