Friday, March 6, 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 [email protected]

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

 
Random thoughts on getting older by Annabelle . . . and Susan

By Susan Winlow | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Work progresses on freeway interchange project

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A1, 4 Comments | Gallery

 
Solano College grad becomes Marvel superhero

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

Caltrans announces planned I-80 closures

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A1

 
French guitarist brings world music to The Palms

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

Bay Area Stage readies ‘Mockingbird’ production

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
Let’s take a 2nd look at 1st cars

By Tony Wade | From Page: A2

 
Bike to School Day poster contest begins

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A3, 1 Comment

 
Audubon Society to hold talk on blackbird decline

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A4

Youth talent, scholarship awards dinner set

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A4

 
Free 8-week Journey Through Grief class set

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A4

 
Fairfield police log: March 4, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: March 4, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
.

US / World

 
SF hospital performs rare chain kidney swap

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

El niño might not be enough to help Ca drought

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
App developers take a swing at playgrounds

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Supreme Court allows for compassionate release

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Off-duty officer accidentally shoots relative

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 3 Comments

Student protests block access to campus

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
GOP legislator enters race for Boxer’s seat

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Japanese tsunami debris washing ashore

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
 
Freight train carrying crude oil derails in Illinois

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Air Force veteran who saved orphans in Korean War dies at 97

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6 | Gallery

 
Homeowners group denies playhouse for cancer-stricken girl

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Report: Suicides by girls and young women continue to climb

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Jurors in Jodi Arias case: We were 11-1 for death penalty

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Plane skids off LaGuardia runway, slams into fence near bay

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7 | Gallery

Father tells jury about boy’s death at Boston Marathon

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Death toll in east Ukraine mine blast reaches 33

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Syria says it killed military leader of al-Qaida group

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Iraq says Islamic State militants ‘bulldozed’ ancient site

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Attack on US envoy part of S.Korea’s violent protest history

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

Last Ebola patient is released in Liberia

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Floods kill 42 people in Tanzania, authorities say

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Companies form coalition to conserve during drought

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

 
.

Living

Today in History: March 6, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: March 6, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Horoscopes: March 6, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

 
.

Entertainment

Week in preview March 6-12, 2015

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
Shania Twain to launch final tour in June

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Elizabeth McCracken wins $20,000 short story prize

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Dying wish comes true: Dutch woman with ALS sees Rembrandts

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Announcer Craig Sager returns from leukemia to NBA sideline

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Comedy Central’s ‘Too Many Stars’ means plenty of laughs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Jaime Camil shines as telenovela star on ‘Jane the Virgin’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Review: ‘Unfinished Business’ should never have started

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Review: ‘Second Best’ Marigold Hotel lives up to its title

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
Entertainment calendar: March 6, 2015

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B4

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic | From Page: B6

.

Sports

 
Maddon makes debut with Cubs in spring tie with A’s

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

Hunter Pence breaks arm in Giants’ 8-6 win over Cubs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
 
Jones-Drew retires, Woodley released by Raiders

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

Veteran defensive tackle Dockett joins 49ers on 2-year deal

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Ashley, McConnell lead No. 5 Arizona to 99-60 rout of Cal

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Holmes opens 4-shot PGA lead at Blue Monster

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Local Report: Labit pitches SCC to win over Folsom Lake

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B8

Prosecutors: No criminal charge for NASCAR driver Kurt Busch

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
As NFLPA election looms, Smith hopes to keep ‘boring job’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

This date in sports history for March 6, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
.

Business

Toyota rolls out first mass-market cars to run on hydrogen fuel cells

By The Washington Post | From Page: C1 | Gallery

 
Can Etsy keep its folksy brand and make shareholders money?

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

Applications for US jobless aid inch up to a 10-month high

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
A robust US job market is expected to keep delivering

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11, 1 Comment

Largest US banks all pass latest round of Fed ‘stress tests’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
Ringling Bros. Circus to give up elephant acts in 3 years

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11 | Gallery

Google providing car insurance quotes in latest expansion

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
.

Obituaries

Michele Jarvis

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Robert Charles Thierry

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

.

Comics

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9