DEER PARK, TX (KTRK) -- Frank Racioppo has a duty to serve.
"I work eight-to-ten hours a day, I work almost seven days a week," Racioppo said. "I've never taken a pay check in three years. I don't do it for the money, I love what I do."
After serving almost 30 years in the Marine Corp and Army reserves, Racioppo's duties may have changed but not the heart behind them. These days, all of his heart goes into baking.
"In the Marine Corp, I took a baking course," Racioppo said, "even though I was in the infantry, and I did well in the course."
He opened Cookie Express three years ago in Deer Park. It is not far from a school.
"If I can keep a kid inside my bakery for an hour or even two hours during that day, away from the gangs, the fights, the drugs, I was doing my duty," Racioppo said.
For students, a 16 oz milkshake costs one dollar, and each cookie is 50 cents.
"A lot of us came back from Vietnam, we didn't have self worth, we didn't have respect," Racioppo said. "We had a lot of guilt. And this helps me because I know I'm doing something positive, nevertheless for myself, but for the community as well."
Veterans Day is tough for Racioppo.
"Because I don't have my brothers," Racioppo said.
Providing his cookie business to the community helps Racioppo stay positive and focus on the sweet things in life.
Veteran operates bakery for the good of the community