On June 9, 2015, James "Bob" Hanson of Bison, SD was honored at the South Dakota State Capitol. Bob received the prestigious French Legion of Honor Medal for his service in World War II. Governor Dennis Daugaard and Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Larry Zimmerman spoke at the event and presented the award on behalf of the French Government. Bob was severely injured when his armored vehicle was hit by enemy fire. The driver was killed and his legs and feet were on fire and damaged. He managed to get out of the vehicle and put out the fire on his legs, but was captured and became a Prisoner of War. He had little chance of survival due to his injuries, but Bob was an accomplished boxer and athlete and he defied the odds to survive and make it back home to America.
It was my honor to attend the ceremony and take some photographs of a true American hero. You cannot put into words how blessed our country is to have heroes like Bob Hanson who fought in World War II to make the world a better place.