PEOPLE & PLACES: Locals celebrate

A celebration honoring Milton Anderson’s 95th birthday will be held Saturday, Aug. 23.

Jake and Patty Cohen recently took the weekend off to go to Bend, Ore., with their two boys Matt and Gabe to hear Willie Nelson at an outdoor amphitheater. The couple also spent a Saturday at a Mariner’s game and saw a 10-2 win.

Jessie Eerkes and Dena Heller celebrated their 90th birthdays Sunday, Aug. 3.

Sara Jackets recently returned from a two-month group internship in New York City. While there she saw Broadway plays and a game at Yankee Stadium plus much more. She also spent a weekend in Washington, D.C. Sara is a senior at Seattle Pacific University majoring in business administration. She is the granddaughter of Lou Mahler.

Cmdr. Jeffrey R. Graham will relieve Cmdr. Daniel G. Doster as commanding officer of Electronic Attack Squadron 142 at a ceremony in Hangar Nine aboard Whidbey Island Naval Air Station. Doster assumed command in May of 2002 and led the squadron through 10 detachments and a deployment to Prince Sultan Air Base, Saudi Arabia. Over a three-month period, the squadron flew a record 198 sorties and 934 combat flight hours over Southern Iraq in support of Operation Southern Watch. Doster’s follow on orders are to Deputy Commander for Acquisition and Operations, Naval Air Systems Command at NAS Patuxent River, Maryland.

A native of San Antonio, Texas, Cmdr.Graham graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1984, earning a commission as an ensign and a bachelor of science degree in Applied Science. He reported to NAS Pensacola, Fla.. and was designated a naval flight officer in February 1986.

Graham completed fleet replacement training with the Vikings of VAQ-129 in March 1987. His initial sea duty assignment was with the VAQ-132 Scorpionsî. Aboard the USS Forrestal (CV 59), he participated in Operation Earnest Will and deployed to the North Atlantic, Mediterranean, and Indian Ocean. While assigned to the squadron, he served as avionics/armament division Officer, Personnel Officer and Assistant Maintenance Officer.

In March 1990, Graham was assigned to the Naval Space Technology Program in Washington, D.C. Next he reported to Commander, Strike Fleet Atlantic, aboard USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20) as Assistant Command and Control Warfare Officer in March 1993. During this tour, he participated in the planning and initial execution of Operation RESTORE DEMOCRACY and led the 1995 NATO Electronic Warfare Trials.

Graham was again assigned to VAQ-132, this time aboard the USS Enterprise, in January 1996. He served as the Electronic Warfare and Maintenance Officer and was deployed to the Mediterranean and Arabian Sea as part of Operations JOINT ENDEAVOR and SOUTHERN WATCH flying missions over Kosovo and Iraq.

His follow-on assignment was to the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) in Chantilly, Virginia in April 1998. While at NRO, he was Chief of Engineering for the Operational Support Office Directorate. His staff conducted research, development, and field support of tactical receivers and intelligence systems that utilize national systems information. During his tour, Graham earned a Master of Science degree in Information Management from Marymount University.

Graham was selected for operational command and reported as the Prospective Executive Officer for the VAQ-143 Cobras in December 2001. He implemented the initial steps to stand up the command in preparation for squadron commissioning in October 2002, until it was decided that squadron commissioning would be delayed, and he was reassigned as Executive Officer of VAQ-142 in May 2002.

His awards and decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal (three awards), Air Medal (one strike/flight award), Navy Commendation Medal, Joint Achievement Medal, Navy Achievement Medal and various service medals, ribbons and unit awards. He has logged more than 1,850 EA-6B flight hours.

Graham is married to Allison Dove of Nottingham, England. They have one daughter, Bethany, and live in Anacortes.