Ms. Nikki Stratton was born in Colorado Springs, Colorado to parents Randy and Kathy Stratton. Nikki is a 2007 graduate of Washington State University with a Bachelor of Education focusing on sport management. Nikki spent the first half of her professional career coaching college basketball at Washington State University and the University of Wyoming, before moving into the private sector. She is the youngest granddaughter of USS Arizona survivor Donald G. Stratton and his wife Velma Stratton.
While growing up, Ms. Stratton developed a strong love for her grandfather’s story through time and experiences with her grandparents. The highlight of every year was traveling to Hawaii for the Pearl Harbor Remembrance ceremonies and honoring the shipmates that passed during the attack. During the 76th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor, Nikki was the keynote speaker for a once in a lifetime medal ceremony. The event honored Joseph L. George, who was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star with “V” for his heroism. Ms. Stratton is passionate about sharing the story of how Mr. George saved six men, one of which included her grandfather.
It was at Donald’s funeral in 2020 when Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly asked Ms. Stratton to become the Sponsor of the future USS Arizona Submarine. In accordance with her grandfather's final wish, that no one ever forget the men of the USS Arizona and Pearl Harbor, Nikki accepted the role without hesitation.
Ms. Stratton currently resides in Denver with her fiancé Mike. She spends her time working for a small MarTech company leading the QA team. Nikki loves being the fun aunt to Emersyn, Bryce and Boden, and enjoys spoiling people with her love for baking cakes and sweet treats. She loves to travel and share the story of her grandfather’s survival in a moment that left a mark on the entire nation. Ms. Stratton hopes to honor the legacy of those that have come before us and to prepare the way for those yet to come.