For Daisytown resident James Rohaley, the decision to go to war was easy.
He and four friends from the Daisytown area, despite their young age, jumped at the chance to enlist in the Navy when World War II broke out."When they bombed Pearl Harbor, I was so mad, I was just furious," he said."I enlisted straight out of high school." Rohaley was just 16, an honor student at California Area High School. He was too young to enlist, too angry to wait.He lied about his age and forged his parents' signatures to join the military.He earned the rank of Seaman First Class, and his ship was credited with sinking a submarine off the coast of California. But after the war, things were more difficult. Rohaley came home four years older and without a high school diploma, something he had to live without, until now.For Rohaley and other local World War II veterans who risked their lives and sacrificed their education as a result of the war, Operation Recognition, a national initiative to pay tribute to World War II veterans, will allow them to finally receive their diplomas. "Operation Recognition allows school districts to fulfill the academic honor these veterans are due," said state Rep.
Rohaley received his diploma during this spring's graduation ceremonies at California Area High School and spoke to the graduating class."I tried to inspire them by what I was able to accomplish without a diploma," he said."I told them not to coast through their education, because there are always people behind you that are hungry."
Although Rohaley had never received his diploma, he has a remarkable resume.He has worked as a public assistance examiner, district justice, deputy warden at the Washington County Jail, served eight years on the California Area School Board and is now a constable.Despite his success, Rohaley admits that being hired for jobs throughout his life has been more difficult without a diploma. "If you don't have a high school education, you're looked down upon," he said."It was pretty tough for me without a high school diploma, but with veterans preference, that helped me get hired."
Rohaley said he is simply happy to finally receive his diploma and to see veterans honored for their service to their country."It just felt good that I finally got my diploma and got recognized," he said.With veterans taking advantage of the opportunity the new law provides, a move is on to recognize veterans of the Korean War through Operation Recognition.State Rep.
The Herald Standard - 3 Democrats seek party's nomination
Incumbent Peter J. Daley is being challenged by Randy Barli of Coal Center and James Rohaley of Daisytown, West Pike Run Township.
Rohaley is a World War II veteran, having served in the U.S. Coast Guard for nearly four years in the American, European and Asiatic Pacific theaters of operations.He also served five years in the U.S. Navy Reserves."I enlisted at 16 because I thought we had the best country in the world," Rohaley said.Rohaley was a Washington County Board of Assistance caseworker for 12 years and a public assistance examiner for 10 years.He also served as the West Pike Run Township justice of the peace for 12 years and served on the California Area School Board for eight years."I've been disappointed with the way the Legislature's been acting.They talked about tax reform, then they tied it to gambling.They knew that these people looking for a franchise would be putting out millions of dollars," Rohaley said.Rohaley said Harrisburg is overdue for reform."I'm hoping enough legislators will be thrown out that new people will come in who aren't motivated by money," Rohaley said."I'm not a rich man, but I'm financially stable."Rohaley said he would be supportive of an open records law that includes members of the legislature."I think the Legislature is the only branch of government that can't be audited, so they get away with whatever they can," Rohaley said."If the Herald-Standard asked me for the records, I would give them to you.What they are doing is a crime."Rohaley said he also supports lobbyist disclosure and an independent board to handle redistricting."Our legislators set them (the districts) up to their advantage, not the taxpayers' advantage," Rohaley said.Rohaley said he would not accept any money from political action committees."I don't believe in that.When I was on the school board, the vote was often 8-1.I was offered bribes and I was threatened with being beat up.I played it straight.I never took a nickel from anybody," Rohaley said.Rohaley said that although he is 80, his age should not be a factor in the election for the two-year term."I would be a full-time legislator.I would be available," Rohaley said.
Thank You for Downloading!
1. Download ZoomInfo Grow
2. Run Installation Wizard
3. Check your inbox to Sign in to ZoomInfo Grow