TYLER, TX (KLTV) - As a longtime professor at Jarvis College, Dr. Marshall Lanier has devoted his life to education. But Lanier's education was disrupted and almost ended in World War II.
Lanier had already completed two years of college when he volunteered for the Army in August of 1941. He was supposed to be back out in a year's time, but the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor December 7, 1941 plunged America into war and kept Lanier in the Army for the next four years, four months.
Lanier was at first sent to North Africa and then on to Cairo and Italy. His job in the Quarter Master Corps was driving a 10 ton refrigerated food truck to frontline troops. Although war was raging all around him, Lanier says his most frightening experience was not mortars aimed at him, but the time his brakes went out while driving his truck down an Italian mountain with his perilous curves.
In 1945, Lanier boarded a boat for the South Pacific for the invasion of Japan. However, by the time the boat arrived in Manilla, Japan and the U.S. were signing a peace treaty. Lanier returned home where he and his wife Dorothy became outstanding educators, as well as the parents of three children.