Sugar Land Rotary Club Celebrates Veterans

Photos by Debra Maltman, Liz Furman and Mary Favre

On November 9th, 2022, the Rotary Club of Sugar Land celebrated local Veterans with their annual Veterans Day celebration program at Sugar Creek Country Club. With over 20 armed forces Veterans in attendance, there was representation from all branches of service and Veterans who served from World War II to Operation Enduring Freedom. Rotatrian Jeff Tallas served as the master of ceremonies.

The Veterans Day program included the Veterans Prayer given by District 1 Sugar Land City Council Member Suzanne Whatley, a stellar display of the American flag presented by the Willowridge High School Junior ROTC Color Guard, the National Anthem sung by Rotary Club of Greater Houston Veterans charter member Mark McVey and the American Pledge led by Rotary Club of Sugar Land member Darla Alston.

The POW/MIA table was honored, and items explained in a speech by retired Marine Veteran Patrick Houck. The table is displayed to signify those who are missing but are not forgotten.

A brief explanation of Armistice Day history was presented by Rotary Club of Sugar Land member Mary Favre. There were also multiple displays of military memorabilia from different eras dating back to World War I. After enjoying lunch with the Veterans, Sugar Land Rotary President Marvin Marcell introduced the guest of honor, Congressional Gold Medal recipient and World War II Veteran Staff Sergeant Lewis Woo Yee, a “Flying Tiger” with what was once known as the Army Air Core, now our modern-day Air Force. Yee’s daughter, Sue Chiang, shared her father’s history and legacy from his service days until he received his medal.  United States Navy Veteran and former United States Representative Pete Olson also shared about the day Staff Sergeant Yee was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal. Staff Sergeant Yee was honored by a presentation of flowers with a picture of a Curtiss P-40 Warhawk that filled him with emotion.

There was a moment for individual Veteran appreciation and a Vietnam “Flying Tiger,” Don Galloway, gave a salute to Staff Sergeant Yee. Additionally, a very special moment was the introduction of a World War II coast guardsman, William Pearce Ham, Jr. (escorted by his father-in-law Gordon Franklin) the oldest in the room at 101 years-old! To conclude the celebration, the epic Military Medley was played, and the program ended in the Rotary Four-Way Test.

Visit for more information about the Rotary Club of Sugar Land.