Freedom Celebration Honors Military During Sturgis Rally


Freedom Celebration Honors Military with Full Day of Patriotic Events Aug. 8

Salute Those Who Serve at the Sturgis Buffalo Chip’s Military Tribute!

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You and your friends
Buffalo Chip’s 28th Annual Freedom Celebration
Thursday, Aug. 8, 2019
4:00 p.m. – Veteran’s Charity Auction
7:30 p.m. - Main Stage Bob Hanson Distinguished Service Award Presentation and Star Spangled Banner
10:30 p.m. – Toby Keith Performance
Sturgis Buffalo Chip® CrossRoads and Amphitheater
Honor those who fight for our freedoms

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 28th annual Freedom Celebration on Thursday, Aug. 8, 2019! 

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 during the Sturgis Buffalo Chip’s® Military Tribute Day.

In addition to official Freedom Celebration events, you have the opportunity throughout the Rally to honor those who have served by visiting several meaningful military tributes located at Buffalo Chip’s free-access CrossRoads and purchasing an official Buffalo Chip Red Shirt to benefit worthy veterans charities.

Freedom Celebration Events

Veteran’s Charity Auction
Bring home some cool biker gear, a brand-new firearm, a one-of-a-kind piece of memorabilia or even a 1990 HD FXLR Custom, completely redone with military-themed graphics from one of the top airbrush artists in the world! It’s all up for grabs at the Freedom Celebration Veteran’s Charity Auction at the Buffalo Chip Gardens (near the East Gate)Thursday, Aug. 8 from 4:00-5:30. All are invited to attend and participate in this live and silent auction benefitting charities America’s Mighty Warriors and The Warrior Dog Foundation.


Bob Hanson Distinguished Service Award
Each year the Buffalo Chip chooses members of our military to honor for their courage, sacrifices and heroic patriotism. Past recipients of this award include Retired Navy SEAL Richard “Skipper” Marcinko, 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 honorees on the main stage before a performance from Toby Keith.

Meet award recipients!


Veteran’s Trike Presentation
After sacrificing for our freedoms, combat amputee Senior Airman Justin Day will receive a large part of his back when he receives a custom trike designed with his needs in mind. The specially modified trike will be presented on the Buffalo Chip Main Stage during a special 2019 Freedom Celebration presentation.

Learn about Justin Day here.


Veteran Assistance K9 Program Service Dog Presentation
For his dedication to the security of this great nation, Special Operations Wounded Warriors and Baden K9 have teamed up to present Retired Navy SEAL Master Chief Oscar Sosa Jr. with a specially trained Belgian Malinois on the Buffalo Chip’s main stage prior to Toby Keith’s performance. The dog’s name, “Reaper One,” was chosen in remembrance of Retired Navy Seal and SOWW board member Master Chief Ron “Reaper One” Bellan. Master Chief Bellan served as a Navy Seal for over 23 years and on the SOWW board over seven, where he continued to support his Special Forces brothers. Both Master Chief Bellan and Master Chief Oscar Sosa Jr. are highly respected by their peers and we thank them for their selfless dedication to our great country.


Special Guests
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.

Meet special guests!


Color Guard
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.

Freedom Celebration Events

Freedom Field
Walk or ride through a majestic display of nearly 1,000 proudly waving American Flags near the West Campground Entrance. Freedom Field 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. This display is open every day during the rally, but on Freedom Celebration Day you’re invited to join a special toast to those who have served in the southwest corner at 3 p.m.

Learn more!


AVTT Veterans Memorial Wall
Standing proudly behind the Battlefield Cross Sculpture and Freedom Field 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.

Learn more!

On-Site Veterans Organizations

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.


Vet Center
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.


Buddy Poppies
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. 10.


Vietnam Veterans of America – Deadwood Chapter
VVA CHAPTER #1039 welcomes all who served in Vietnam between February 28, 1961 and May 7, 1975, or in any duty location between August 5, 1964 and May 7, 1975. Joining VVA allows you to connect with other veterans, stay up with the latest on special events.

Keep up the good work supporting our troops, Buffalo Chip! It's evident in all you do.” - Andy Sims