2022 American Hero Award Recipients

Each year, HireQuest Inc. and the Higher Quest Foundation host the American Hero Awards. The ceremony recognizes two American service men or women who have gone above the call of duty in service to their country.

Ultimate Hero Award Recipient Corporal Benjamin S. Kopp, U.S. Army

After 9/11, CPL Kopp vowed to serve his country with pride, following in the footsteps of his great grandfather, a World War II veteran.

CPL Kopp arrived at Fort Benning, Ga., 1 month after his high school graduation. Eight months later, he became an Army Ranger. CPL Kopp served in the 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment and completed two tours of duty in Iraq and a third in Afghanistan. There, on July 10, 2009, he saved the lives of six of his fellow Rangers when they came under attack by Taliban forces.

Tragically, CPL Kopp was shot in the leg and did not recover from the trauma. He died July 18, 2009, at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

To this day, Ben lives on in the hearts and minds of his family—and the dozens of individuals to whom he donated his organs.

American Hero Award Recipient Sergeant Major Gary W. Buck, U.S. Marine Corps

In 1985, SgtMaj Buck enlisted in the Marine Corps and shipped off to Parris Island, S.C. Over seven combat tours, including Desert Shield, Desert Storm, Safe Return, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation Iraqi Freedom, SgtMaj Buck steadily climbed the ranks. He has also achieved an Associate’s from Columbia Southern University, a Bachelor’s in business administration from Waldorf University, and a Master’s in educational leadership from Marshall University. In 2010, he returned to the Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island to serve as the Depot Sergeant Major, where he works with new recruits today.

SgtMaj Buck’s commendations include the Navy/Marine Corps Achievement and Commendation medals, Meritorious Service Medal (2 gold stars), Legion of Merit, and others.