KILLEEN (October 29, 2012)--Jackson Huang emigrated from Taiwan to Killeen in the 1970s and has spent the past few decades dedicated to the Fort Hood community and honoring military heroes by covering his restaurant walls with photos of them.
"I am very, very happy, so I do it for them," Huang said.
Huang's sister and her husband, who was stationed at Fort Hood, sponsored him and his wife to move to Killeen in 1977.
Huang's first job in America was cooking for the Fort Hood Officer's club.
Then, in 1981, with the help of Killeen civic leaders T. J. Mills and Bernie Beck, he opened Taiwan Dragon in downtown Killeen.
The restaurant quickly became a local favorite, especially with members of the Fort Hood community.
Huang's mentor and friend Ann Farris admires Huang's dedication.
"How unlikely is it that someone came from Taiwan without a penny in his pocket, created a success story for himself and a way to make a living for his family and send all the family members to college based on his respect for the American soldier?"
Farris also said Huang wants to show our military men and women how much he respects them and the difference they make for the world.
To this day, many visiting officers eat at Taiwan Dragon.
When officers get promotions, Huang helps them celebrate with a cake on the house and photos he takes to hang up later.
He also gives them copies.
Even when the restaurant, along with the walls adorned with pictures, burned down in 2008, Huang continued to be dedicated to his passion of serving the Fort Hood community.
Thanks to a general wife's encouragement, Huang rebuilt the restaurant and his photo collection.
It took about a year to gather all those photos again, but Huang said he had no choice.
"It's not about the food, it's about the experience," Farris said.
"You're in this place that the walls speak."
Although Huang does not know how many photos he has, he said he has spent much of his time photographing, framing and hanging up the photos of present and past Army leaders and Fort Hood commanders according to rankings and divisions.
Huang's dedication to Fort Hood earned him the honor of being named a "Fort Hood Good Neighbor."