Comcast NBCUniversal recognizes the exceptional strength our current and former military personnel bring to our communities and our businesses.
But it’s not every day we have an opportunity to honor a member of the Greatest Generation.
Comcast recently supported efforts at the Colorado General Assembly to honor Donald Stratton of Colorado Springs, one of only four survivors still alive from the 1941 attack on the USS Arizona docked at Pearl Harbor.
Stratton and his family were recognized on the floor of the legislature last month, and Colorado lawmakers passed a joint resolution (HJR-18-1009) designating the Fillmore Street bridge over I-25 in Colorado Springs as the Donald “Don” Stratton Bridge.
Stratton was on the deck of the USS Arizona on December 7, 1941, when the Japanese attacked. The bombing of the Navy ship Arizona killed 1,177 crew members and spared just 300 men, Stratton among them.
He was gravely injured during the attack, sustaining burns over 60 percent of his body. But after a year spent in a Navy hospital recovering, Stratton petitioned the military to return to active duty. He was successful and served out the remainder of the war.
Stratton and his wife of 68 years live in Colorado Springs. Though he’s 95 years old and confined to a wheelchair, Stratton’s spirit is lively and his wit is sharp.
He authored a book about his WWII memories called “All the Gallant Men,” a gripping account that has already caught the attention of director Clint Eastwood.
Stratton’s son Randy and granddaughter Nikki also live in Colorado Springs. Randy is working with a local group of veterans to permanently relocate a piece of the USS Arizona superstructure to Colorado Springs as a way of telling Stratton’s story and honoring his legacy.
In December, Stratton traveled to Washington, D.C. for a ceremony to honor the man who saved his life on the day of the Pearl Harbor attack, Joseph Leon George. Stratton spent years pressing the military to honor George’s heroism, who threw Stratton a lifeline from a neighboring ship.Thanks to Stratton’s persistence, George was posthumously awarded a Navy Bronze Star for Valor.
Comcast supported this effort from start to finish by working with State Rep. Larry Liston of El Paso County to develop the joint resolution and sponsor a reception for Stratton and his family. Comcast is also supporting the production and installation of the signs on the new Donald “Don” Stratton Bridge.
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