HONOLULU - What would you do in your retirement? A Kapolei man who retired not once, but twice, from the US Army and the Department of Defense, has started up a third career focused on community service. 

It's another busy lunch hour for Tin Hut BBQ, but 59-year-old Frank Diaz sees it as a chance for him to make a difference, one plate lunch at a time.
"I love to serve the military. I have such a heart for them. There's such a sacrifice with them deploying overseas," says the food truck owner.

He's working at a Navy base today, but this retired, disabled vet does more than that for his military peers. He hires them, and has a soft spot for homeless or disabled veterans who can't find work- like Desiree Cortez, who struggled for six months after her medical discharge.

"There was a huge depression that hit me. When I got the job, that was the start of that light. I started to see it. He believed in me when I didn't believe in myself," says Cortez, who has been with Tin Hut BBQ for a year.

Now, she's learning more than just how to run a food operation. She says she's learning how to be a better person. "He leaves a model behind for someone like myself to follow," Cortez shares. "If I could be half of what he is, I'd be OK with that."

Diaz changes lives on the other side of the counter, too. You'll see his food trucks out around Oahu. About four times a year, he'll be at community events, giving tens of thousands of dollars a year to support charities. "We donate food for the homeless veterans on the Islands," Diaz says.

He knows how much it means to get a hot meal, or a hand up. "Being away from home, even being homeless myself one time for 30 days, I know where they're at. I've sat at the seat where they sit. When we get that positive response to what we're doing it makes us swell up and feel happy we were able to make a difference," he smiles.
As they say in the military, Diaz has your "six."

This summer, Diaz is opening a Tin Hut BBQ restaurant at Pearl Highlands, but says he will keep operating his food trucks.

He's also looking for volunteers to help make food at the holidays for active duty military, so they can expand to two more bases this year. You can contact him through his website, http://tinhutbbq.com/.