Tuesday, January 27, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Veterans describe day that changed lives

harbor vets, 12/6/13

Retired Marine Corps Col. Warren MacQuarrie, left, who was a pilot in World War II, Korea and Vietnam, talks with Fairfield High School sophomore Ricardo Reyes, 16, while retired Air Force Lt. Col. Bill Getz, a World War II pilot, talks with freshman Eddie Taylor, 15, in the school's library, Friday. The two veterans, along with retired Air Force Lt. Col. Glen Grewe, spoke to members of the school's Air Force Junior ROTC program about their military service after the attacks on Pearl Harbor and the start of World War II. (Brad Zweerink/Daily Republic)

By
From page A1 | December 07, 2013 |

FAIRFIELD — Three veterans described for Fairfield High School students the day of infamy that sent them into military service as teenagers.

“The lesson of Pearl Harbor is that an event can happen that changes everything in your life,” said retired U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Bill Getz, 89, of Fairfield. “Anything we had thought about that we wanted to do was out the window.”

He and two other residents of Paradise Valley Estates, retired U.S. Marines Col. Warren MacQuarrie, 90, and retired U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Glen Grewe, 90, spoke Friday to Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps cadets at the high school.

Getz was a 17-year-old student at a military academy where he worked serving meals and stood with a tray when he learned about the Dec. 7, 1941, attack. About three months later when he was 18, Getz began his service in the Air Force and as a 19-year-old was a second lieutenant. Before he was old enough to vote – or buy a drink if he were a drinker – he was a captain in the Air Force, he told students.

Recounting his joining the military, he told the teens gathered in the school library that we don’t choose the year – or where – we’re born but do make decisions that alter our lives.

“I made a choice that changed the rest of my life,” Getz said. “I loved the military. I loved flying.”

MacQuarrie said in December 1941 he was 18 and installing gas pedals for 50 cents an hour on a Ford assembly line. He was hanging out with a friend who heard on the radio what had happened.

“We were stunned,” MacQuarrie said. “We never expected Pearl Harbor to be attacked.”

He enlisted in the Marines, flew his last World War II mission Aug. 14, 1945, and went on to fly 46 missions, most of them air support for Marines, in Korea. He commanded a Marine helicopter group in Vietnam and returned to the United States in 1969. MacQuarrie retired from the Marines in 1972.

Grewe remembered the isolationist group America First arguing before Pearl Harbor that oceans on either side of the country meant the United States didn’t need to get involved in war.

“They were very wrong, of course,” he said.

Grewe said discussions in U.S. history class in high school showed it was just a matter of time before the United States was involved in war.

“Pearl Harbor changed all that from guessing to knowing,” Grewe said.

After America entered the war, the country became an industrial giant almost overnight, Grewe recounted.

“Pearl Harbor unified this country,” he said. “I’m sure the Japanese by 1945 were very unhappy with what they had done.”

“I’m not sure Hitler was very happy about Japan bombing our country,” Grewe added. “It changed our country.”

Getz spoke to students about how combat is arbitrary. Flak, the exploding ammunition that can strike an aircraft, has no address, he said. Survival doesn’t depend upon your skill, Getz added. “It depends upon pure chance,” he said.

But while we’re all a product of chances, Getz added, we also get choices. Decide carefully, he said. “A choice may live with you.”

“You’re not kids anymore,” he told the JROTC cadets. “You’re mature adults.”

“You’ll do well,” Getz said. “I know you will.”

Reach Ryan McCarthy at 427-6935 or rmccarthy@dailyrepublic.net.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 1 comment

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Rich GiddensDecember 07, 2013 - 9:05 am

    911 united the American nation too, but few families have a loved one in the military now. In the wake of 911 there was no massive mobilization or maximum industrial effort to produce armaments or sustinence. During World War 2, every American man, woman and even children woke up early everyday, prayed and thought---''with our very survival at stake what can I personally do to help win the war today?" Gone now---a failed war strategy with no leadership accountabilty, the nation foolishly elected civilian leaders who not only never served in the military but who incredibly seem to now openly sympathize and identify with a barbaric enemy! If that same mindset had perversely prevailed during World War 2, the President's name would have likely been Adolph Yamamoto! He would have continually shuttled between Berlin and Tokyo and would have continually apologized for the American people being the victim at Pearl Harbor and the Philippine Bataan province. I bet those senior vets no longer recognize the nation they bled to save. I bet they feel like they've arrived at an alien insane planet where down is now up and up is now down, where wrong is now right and no good is no longer recognized or served. I'm thankful that my great uncle who was with Mark Clark and participated in Operations Torch and Husky didn't live to see this happen.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

 
Health officials report 1st Solano flu death

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A1, 5 Comments | Gallery

 
 
 
American Legion Post schedules head-shaving fundraiser

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A6

Rush Ranch seeks docents

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A2

 
Dramas, thrillers lead week’s box office openings

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B6

Vacaville Toastmasters welcome guests

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A6

 
Kroc Health Fair offers free screenings

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1

 
Chipotle fundraiser to benefit Armijo newspaper

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

Vacaville council eyes earlier start time

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page:

 
.

US / World

Facebook suffers outage affecting users worldwide

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Private wells in California farm area show high uranium

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Ex-Army prosecutor found guilty of rape at court-martial

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Law enforcement wants popular police-tracking app disabled

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Gov’t to overhaul Medicare payments to doctors, hospitals

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Cuban youth build secret computer network despite Wi-Fi ban

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Seekers of the Hollywood Sign disrupt nearby neighborhood

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
2 small planes crash-land off Hawaii; all aboard survive

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Report: State worker sent alarming notes before gun arrest

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Panic attack, bad back: Theater shooting brings jury excuses

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Lawyer: Boy Scout files depict ‘sordid’ history of abuse

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Dwindling group of survivors to mark Auschwitz 70 years on

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

New Jersey’s Christie launches political action committee

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
US drone strikes resume in Yemen despite turmoil

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Monster snowstorm swirls into densely populated Northeast US

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Kurds celebrate ousting Islamic State fighters from Kobani

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Man takes responsibility for drone over White House

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
.

Opinion

2 sides to state highways rehab backlog

By Dan Walters | From Page: A11, 7 Comments

 
.

Living

Community Calendar: Jan. 27, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
.

Entertainment

Petty earns writing credit for Sam Smith’s ‘Stay With Me’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
National Cowboy Poetry Gathering begins in northeast Nevada

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Trainor and Styles write a duet about heartbreak

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Emma Watson to star in live-action ‘Beauty and the Beast’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
SAG Awards win sends ‘Birdman’ Oscar hopes soaring

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Cumberbatch says sorry for calling black actors ‘colored’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
A murder at the edge of the world takes ‘Fortitude’ to crack

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

Lawyers: Melissa Rivers files lawsuit in mother Joan’s death

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
Sundance Watch: ‘Cobain’ premieres, women talk Hollywood

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

TVGrid Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
.

Sports

Manfred knows he’ll get hit as commish _ his name is on ball

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
NASCAR to leave championship format unchanged in 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Kobe Bryant to have shoulder surgery, likely out for season

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Tim Brown hopes 6th time is charm in Hall of Fame vote

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Raiders sign Charles Woodson for 2015 season

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Rams notify St. Louis they’ll go year-to-year on dome lease

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Gamecocks still No. 1; Chattanooga joins women’s hoops poll

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Scott Dixon shines in masterful final drive in Rolex win

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
LeBron, Cavs climb in standings, back in title conversation

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Capitals among East contenders; West race too tight to call

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Playoff not interested in moving semis of New Year’s Eve

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Fireworks help celebrate Venus Williams’ Australian Open run

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
US women to host New Zealand, Ireland, Mexico, South Korea

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

NBA D-League All-Star events set for Feb. 15 in Brooklyn

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
AP Source: Los Angeles Kings release Mike Richards

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Hope Solo could be left off US World Cup roster

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
.

Business

Employers: Agreement made on key issue in port labor dispute

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Lyft cars doing away with pink furry mustache

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Hard Rock (again) dips toe into Atlantic City casino market

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

US stock market finishes with small gains

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
IBM disputes report that big layoffs coming

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Union says California Kaiser nurses reach contract agreement

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Boeing, SpaceX will beat Russia on price for astronaut rides

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4 | Gallery

CBO: Deficit to shrink to lowest level of Obama presidency

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Eurozone looks for dialogue after stunning Greece elections

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

S&P downgrades Russia credit rating to junk

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
.

Obituaries

Donald Wesley Johnson

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Rose is Rose Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Get Fuzzy Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Beetle Bailey Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
B.C. Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Cryptoquote Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
For Better or Worse Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Dilbert Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Bridge Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Garfield Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Crossword Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Baby Blues Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Pickles Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Sally Forth Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Baldo Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Wizard of Id Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Word Sleuth Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Frank and Ernest Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Sudoku Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Blondie Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Zits Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Peanuts Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4