Bob Hanson Award to Honor Distinguished Veterans/Patriots During Freedom Celebration

Witness this Poignant Presentation at the Buffalo Chip during the Sturgis Rally on Aug. 10, 2023

Our ability to enjoy the music, motorcycles, freedom and camaraderie of the Best Party Anywhere wouldn’t be possible if it weren’t for the sacrifices of our nation’s military. This is why each year the Buffalo Chip chooses military members who have made extraordinary sacrifices to honor with the Bob Hanson Distinguished Service Award.

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. Named after late WWII Army Veteran Bob Hanson, this award will be presented to this year’s honorees on the main stage on Thursday, Aug. 11 prior to that evening’s headlining concert from Def Leppard.

 

Meet the 2023 Honorees

Coming Soon!

Meet Bob Hanson

HIS SERVICE AND TIME AS PRISONER OF WAR
Hanson was 23 years old when he went into the service in 1941. Hanson was placed in the 15th Horse Cavalry at Ft. Riley, Kan., where he rode and trained horses every day. In 1944, in Doslet, Brittany, France, a 40 mm incendiary shell hit the armored car he was in, killing the driver, burning Hanson and the other men, and leaving Hanson wounded by shrapnel. After this incident, he was caught by the Germans. After receiving treatment for his injuries, Hanson was sent to a German prison camp. When he was finally released in 1945, Hanson weighed a mere 87 pounds and his feet were crippled.

RETURN TO CIVILIAN LIFE
Upon his return to the states, Hanson went to gunsmithing school in Denver, Colo. Later, he married Donna Wright and they had three sons. Terry, Jim and Rick, a Vietnam veteran, have all passed away, as did Donna in 2002. But Bob lived on for the opportunity to help honor members of our military during the Buffalo Chip’s annual Freedom Celebration.

BOB HANSON’S AWARDS
In 2016 Bob Hanson was honored with the French Legion of Honor Medal—the highest honor bestowed in France—in a ceremony led by South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard. Later that year he proudly bestowed his final Distinguished Service Award on the Buffalo Chip stage at age 96.

RIP – Ensuring the Legacy of Bob Hanson
It is with great sadness to acknowledge the passing of our hero, brother and dear friend Bob Hanson. Sadly Bob Hanson left this earth on Jan. 24, 2017. Every year the Buffalo Chip has the privilege of honoring brave men and women for their courageous and selfless service by presenting them with an award that carries Bob’s name: The Bob Hanson Distinguished Service Award.

Bob – rest in power.

Meet Past Honorees

Legends Ride Lunch Celebrity - Eugene Murphy
Eugene Murphy
2019 Honoree
Legends Ride Lunch Celebrity - Brooks & Rich Schild
Brooks & Rich Schild
2019 Honoree
Legends Ride Lunch Celebrity - Ian Freeman
Ian Freeman
2018 Honoree
Legends Ride Lunch Celebrity - Scott and Deb Whitman
Scott and Deb Whitman
2019 Distinguished Patriots
Legends Ride Lunch Celebrity - Mike Ritland
Mike Ritland
RETIRED NAVY SEAL, AUTHOR AND WARRIOR DOG FOUNDATION FOUNDER
2015 Honoree
Legends Ride Lunch Celebrity - Ben Wallace
Ben Wallace
2017 Honoree
Legends Ride Lunch Celebrity - Wayne Mundt
Wayne Mundt
2018 Honoree
Legends Ride Lunch Celebrity - Mark Lee
Mark Lee
2018 Honoree
Legends Ride Lunch Celebrity - William Skavdahl
William Skavdahl
2019 Honoree
Legends Ride Lunch Celebrity - Kevin “Dauber” Lacz
Kevin “Dauber” Lacz
2017 Honoree
Legends Ride Lunch Celebrity - Keith Helfrich
Keith Helfrich
2017, 2018 Honoree
Legends Ride Lunch Celebrity - Ketih Marshall
Ketih Marshall
2016 Honoree
Legends Ride Lunch Celebrity - Gary Wetzel
Gary Wetzel
2016 Honoree
Legends Ride Lunch Celebrity - Roger Meek
Roger Meek
2020 Honoree
Legends Ride Lunch Celebrity - Glen “Silverback” Silva
Glen “Silverback” Silva
2016 Honoree
Legends Ride Lunch Celebrity - Rick Benjamin
Rick Benjamin
2019 Honoree
Legends Ride Lunch Celebrity - Johnny Walker
Johnny Walker
2017 Honoree
Legends Ride Lunch Celebrity - Tyler Southern
Tyler Southern
USMC VETERAN
2015 Honoree
Legends Ride Lunch Celebrity - Mat Best
Mat Best
2018 Honoree
Legends Ride Lunch Celebrity - Nick Gaines
Nick Gaines
2017, 2018 Honoree
Legends Ride Lunch Celebrity - Thomas Drago Dzieran
Thomas Drago Dzieran
2015 Honoree
Legends Ride Lunch Celebrity - John R. Rapp
John R. Rapp
2015 Honoree
Legends Ride Lunch Celebrity - Benito Olson
Benito Olson
2016 Honoree
Legends Ride Lunch Celebrity - Bob Harwood
Bob Harwood
2017 Honoree
Legends Ride Lunch Celebrity - Robin Guzzo Anderson
Robin Guzzo Anderson
2016 Honoree
Legends Ride Lunch Celebrity - Larry Zimmerman
Larry Zimmerman
2020 Honoree
Legends Ride Lunch Celebrity - Evan Hafer
Evan Hafer
2018 Honoree
Legends Ride Lunch Celebrity - Mary Dague
Mary Dague
PURPLE HEART AND BRONZE MEDAL RECIPIENT
2015 HONOREE
Legends Ride Lunch Celebrity - Kevin Holland
Kevin Holland
2020 Honoree
Legends Ride Lunch Celebrity - Debbie Lee
Debbie Lee
CEO OF AMERICA’S MIGHTY WARRIORS
2022 Honoree

Freedom Celebration

Special Guests

Freedom Field / AVTT Wall