Saturday, August 2, 2014
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

County unveils Solano economic diversification study

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1

 
Fairfield, Vacaville face off at Solano fair

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Reports close books on Solano DA race spending

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A3

’4 guys, 4 guns’ case ends with acquittals

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A3

 
Starbucks card as bribe? Not this time

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A3

County offers free Hepatitis C testing

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3

 
Commune with your neighbors on National Night Out

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
Fairfield police log: July 31, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

Suisun City police log: July 31, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

 
Weather for Aug. 2, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: B12

.

US / World

Stars willing to risk opinions on Gaza clash

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
In brief lull, Gaza’s displaced survey devastation

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Congress backs Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Poll: Public ready to close book on 2 wars

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Israel pounds Gaza as it searches for soldier

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Last ex-city official sentenced in corruption case

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

California prisons alter treatment of mentally ill

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Court gives new life to California high-speed rail

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Lightning sparks dozens of new California fires

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Attorney in deadly bank robbery requests records

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5 | Gallery

Report disputes mom’s claim in school altercation

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Ukraine: Body parts retrieved at jet crash site

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

2 Americans detained in North Korea seek US help

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
Iran opens first state-run alcohol rehab center

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

Remains of Air Algerie crash victims now in Paris

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
China bladder trade sending porpoise to extinction

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

Uruguayan pot marketplace may go up in smoke

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
Ugandan court invalidates anti-gay law

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

Ebola moving faster than control efforts

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11 | Gallery

 
Stolen WWI gas mask found in pawn shop

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

WWI aviation still alive at aerodrome in New York

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12 | Gallery

 
.

Opinion

Perspective needed on Gaza conflict

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

 
.

Living

.

Entertainment

.

Sports

Vogelsong stifles Mets in Giants’ 5-1 win

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Baseball Notebook: Vanden grads Negron, Aplin making their mark

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Raul Ibanez homers to carry Royals past A’s 1-0

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Giants RHP Cain needs surgery to remove bone chips

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Expos stop Shockers, stay alive in state tourney

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1

 
Redskins WR Jerry Rice Jr to have shoulder surgery

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Spurs sign Tony Parker to extension

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Browns’ Gordon meets with NFL on appeal

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Woods, Mickelson paired together again in a major

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
George suffers serious leg injury in US exhibition

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Montoya interested in running The Double for Penske

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Nick Watney leads Barracuda Championship

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Anaheim Ducks to retire Selanne’s jersey Jan. 11

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Mudcats still alive in Auburn Classic

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

Sergio Garcia shoots 61 to take Firestone lead

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Goodell defends NFL’s 2-game suspension of Rice

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Packers unveil statue for the Lambeau Leap

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Marco Dawson leads 3M Championship

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

PGA Tour refutes report Johnson suspended

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Blaine Gabbert learning 49ers system

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Jon Lester ready to help lead A’s back to playoffs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
Hunter-Reay tops after early Mid-Ohio practices

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Larson wins 1st career pole at Pocono Raceway

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
Raiders’ Bergstrom adding center to his resume

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

.

Business

US job growth eases but tops 200K for a 6th month

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Rare summer relief for gasoline prices

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6 | Gallery

US auto sales sizzle in July, helped by discounts

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6 | Gallery

 
S&P 500 has its worst week in 2 years

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

Microsoft sues Samsung over halt to royalties

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
HP to pay $32.5M to settle Postal Service dispute

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

Hyundai recalls more than 419K vehicles

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Allergan sues Valeant, claims fraud in buy attempt

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

.

Obituaries

Marjorie Lee Myrick

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Alice Marion Brown

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Enid Mary Vesci

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

 
.

Home Seller 08/2/14

Right at Home: cooking up a color-happy kitchen

By The Associated Press | From Page: HSR2

Real estate transactions for Aug. 2, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: HSR3

Average US 30-year mortgage rate at 4.12 percent

By The Associated Press | From Page: HSR3