Former Marine helps veterans in many roles


Attend any major veterans’ event in Brevard County and there is a good chance you will see H.F. “Chip” Hanson.

If a chaplain participates in a veterans’ event, chances are Hanson will be there. So, if you don’t know Hanson, just find the chaplain and you’ve probably found him.

I don’t know how he keeps up with it all. He is chaplain for the Brevard Veterans Council, Disabled American Veterans, Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion and Rolling Thunder. And that’s just his volunteer work as a chaplain.

“Almost every day, I’m called out for chaplain duty,” he said.

On a recent day, he had attended a memorial service, a funeral and a gravesite service. That’s not an unusual day of serving.

Hanson also volunteers as a service officer for DAV 123, where he spends his mornings, Monday through Friday, helping veterans access their earned benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs. He also is a service officer for the American Legion and VFW.

If you ever need to talk to Hanson, you are likely to find him at any major veterans’ event. If you need to see him right away, chances are you will find him most weekday mornings at the Brevard Veterans Memorial Center on Merritt Island, which is where he attends to veterans needing help with their benefits. He’ll likely be there unless he has been called away for his chaplain duty.

Hanson served with the U.S. Marines Corps in Vietnam in 1968. After he came home, he worked in finance and with mortgage companies until his retirement a few years ago.

Now he dedicates a lot of his time to helping other veterans.

“I think it’s because of my time in the Marine Corps,” Hanson said. “I came home with all my parts. I came home alive. I feel like I need to give back.”

Hanson, who lives in Cocoa Beach, certainly gives back as he volunteers as a chaplain and works to help others at the DAV 123 along with other dedicated service officers.