Salute Those Who Serve During the Rally’s Most Meaningful Military Tribute!
I can't make the Freedom Celebration Ride, but I'd like to donate to this ride's charities!
Supporting soldiers has long been a tradition at the Buffalo Chip, and again this year the Chip will be dedicating an entire day to the acknowledgement of these brave men and women. Help honor the past and present members of our military during the annual Freedom Celebration on Thursday, Aug. 11, 2016!
The Sturgis Buffalo Chip’s® Military Tribute Day will give you the chance to experience a variety of powerful presentations, moving events and inspiring performances, all specifically designed to recognize those who have selflessly served and, in some instances, lost their lives. You’ll also have the opportunity to share the day with some of our nation’s most inspiring and insightful authors, speakers, activists and retired military personnel, who will be giving speeches, signing books and mingling with guests.
In addition to Freedom Celebration events, several military tributes will remain at the Sturgis Buffalo Chip’s free-access CrossRoads destination throughout the Rally. Check out the full Freedom Celebration event lineup below!
Freedom Celebration Events
Freedom Celebration Ride
There’s no better way to experience freedom than riding down the open road on a motorcycle. Join an amazing lineup of special guests during the Buffalo Chip’s third annual Freedom Celebration Ride to honor America’s veterans and raise funds for organizations benefitting wounded vets and their families.
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Bob Hanson Distinguished Service Award
Each year the Buffalo Chip chooses a member of our military to honor for their courage, sacrifices and heroic patriotism. Past recipients of this award include Senator John McCain, Colonel Steve Ritchie, Bob Woodruff, Retired Navy SEAL Tyrone Woods and Former Navy SEAL Glen Doherty. Buffalo Chip President Rod Woodruff will present this award to this year’s honoree on the main stage before the final headliner takes the stage.
Few things are more American than the U.S. military and rock ‘n’ roll music. During the Buffalo Chip Freedom Celebration you’ll experience both at the same time with performances from South Dakota’s 147th Army Band, SGT Rock!
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A military branch color guard will be presenting the colors on the Wolfman Jack Stage prior to a moving rendition of the Star Spangled Banner.
Exhibits throughout the Rally
Field of Flags
Walk or ride through a majestic display of nearly 1,000 proudly waving American Flags near the West Campground Entrance. The Field of Flags honors soldiers past and present, including those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. One stately flag stands every 10 feet surrounding a reflection area containing a memorial stone honoring all branches of the military and POWs.
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AVTT Veterans Memorial Wall
Standing proudly behind the Battlefield Cross Sculpture and Field of Flags is the AVTT Veterans Memorial Wall. Each year the Patriot Guard Riders assist in putting up this wall so you can see the names and pay your respects to those who made the ultimate sacrifice while defending our freedoms.
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On-Site Veterans Organizations
Combat Wounded Coalition
The Combat Wounded Coalition's vision is to guide combat-wounded Purple Heart Recipients to find a purpose-driven life and peace of mind after the impact of war. The coalition optimizes the potential of these warriors by mitigating the effects of trauma, expanding personal capabilities and inspiring them to find individual, unique purpose to create the life they want. In addition, CWC provides support to families of service members lost in combat, training or due to suicide or post traumatic stress.
America’s Mighty Warriors
The organization was founded by Debbie Lee after her son Marc was the first Navy SEAL to be killed in Iraq on August 2, 2006. In Marc’s last letter home, he asked for friends and family to “pass on the love and kindness and precious gift of human life”. Since then, America’s Mighty Warriors has been fighting to support our troops, the fallen and their families and to work with like-minded organizations to do the same.
Warrior Dog Foundation
Warrior Dog Foundation is dedicated to serving the special operations community, families and Special Operation Forces (SOF) working K-9 military dogs. The foundation strives to educate the public on the importance of K-9s in the combat environment and showcase the level of sacrifice these dogs give in support of our troops. Warrior Dog Foundation cares for each individual SOF K-9 with dignity and grace, helping to transition dogs from an operational environment into their state-of-the-art kennel facility and providing them with both mental and physical rehabilitation.
The Rapid City Vet Center exists as part of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to provide a broad range of counseling, outreach and referral services to eligible veterans in order to help them make a smoother post-war readjustment to civilian life. The Vet Center will be represented at the CrossRoads, where they will be providing counseling services for vets and their surviving parents, spouses, children and siblings.
Help the VFW maintain national and state veterans’ rehabilitation and service programs by purchasing a Buddy Poppy! The VFW Post 3312 of Belle Fourche, SD will be selling these symbolic memorial flowers throughout the campground on Thursday Aug. 11.
“Keep up the good work supporting our troops, Buffalo Chip! It's evident in all you do.” - Andy Sims