Bob Hanson Award to Honor Distinguished Veterans Freedom Celebration

Witness this Poignant Presentation at the Buffalo Chip during the Sturgis Rally on Aug. 11, 2022

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 Jon Pardi.

Meet the 2022 Honorees
Coming soon!

Meet Bob Hanson

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.

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.

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

Freedom Celebration

Special Guests

Freedom Field / AVTT Wall