WWII Veteran: “Senator Gardner made a promise and kept it.”

Gardner Helps Secure Posthumous Bronze Star Medal for Pearl Harbor Hero

Washington, D.C. – Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) today spoke on the Senate floor to honor the U.S. Navy’s decision to award the Bronze Star Medal posthumously to Joseph George for saving six sailors stationed on the USS Arizona during the Pearl Harbor attack.


On Veterans Day, Gardner visited with one of the sailors George saved, World War II veteran Donald Stratton, at his home in Colorado Springs where the two discussed Stratton’s “continuing effort to have the sailor who saved his life awarded a posthumous medal.” Mr. Stratton had been trying to get Joseph George honored for 16 years, and recently began to work with Senator Gardner to make it happen after all these years.


(Click here or on the image above to view Gardner’s remarks.)


“Joe George is an American hero and deserves this long-awaited honor,” said Gardner. "Colorado Springs resident, Donald Stratton, has been fighting the bureaucracy for 16 years, and was finally able to make sure Joe George was honored for saving his life, and five other lives, that fateful day. I met with Donald Stratton twice over the past few months and am honored I was able to work with him to honor Joe George. Veterans like Joe George and Donald Stratton are the best this country has to offer and I thank God every day for Americans like them.”


“I thought that was the greatest thing since sliced bread,” said Donald Stratton. “I spoke what we wanted and Senator Gardner took it right to his heart. Senator Gardner made a promise and kept it. I just appreciate what he’s done. I knew when I met him that something was going to get done.”


“Without Senator Gardner, we would have never got this done,” said Randy Stratton, Donald Stratton’s son. “He took the bull by the horns and got in touch with the right people to get this medal finished. We have been working for 16 years and with the phone calls he made, Senator Gardner got it done just like he promised. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for making this dream, this effort come true.”


KOAA covered Gardner’s Veterans Day visit and reported, “For one Colorado Springs veteran, Saturday morning meant a visit between him and Senator Cory Gardner. As the senator sat down on Donald Stratton's couch, the senator remarked it was one of the best Veteran's Days he's ever celebrated.” In July, Gardner met with Stratton and fellow USS Arizona survivor Lauren Bruner in his office in Washington. Stratton and Bruner were in Washington to visit with Members of Congress and President Trump to advocate for Joe George, the man who saved their life on December 7, 1941, to be awarded a medal posthumously for his heroic actions.




Cory Gardner is a member of the U.S. Senate serving Colorado. He sits on the Energy & Natural Resources Committee, the Foreign Relations Committee, the Commerce, Science, & Transportation Committee, and the Budget Committee, and is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy and Subcommittee on Energy


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