Many veterans left hanging when a trade school abruptly closed are now embracing a Marine Corps motto: Improvise, adapt and overcome.
A day after the trade school shut out about 300 veterans, most of them have been put on flights back home. Some are leaving with less than they came here with.
U.S. Navy veteran Kyle Winslett left a job in California to attend Retail Ready Career Center for a shot at a better future. He and other veterans used money from the GI Bill to go to the school.
“I drove 1,700 miles from California, left my apartment, sold or gave away all my stuff that I had,” he said. “Everything that fit in that car over there is what I own right now."
Winslett and the others went to Garland to learn heating and air conditioning for jobs that are in high demand and pay well.
But halfway through the six-week course, the school told the veterans to pack up and leave because the school was closed.
“If anything, they promised me a job that paid 67K minimum with the knowledge they were going to give me,” Winslett said.
A spokesman for the school says they were forced to shut down after the VA launched an investigation.
Joy Williamson wants part of her face concealed. The Marine veteran’s plan was to finish the course and find a job in California, where her husband is still serving in the Marines.
"Some people were homeless. Some dropped everything they had just to come here,” she said. “Honestly I'm still in shock."
Winslett is using some of the precious gasoline he has left to give fellow veterans rides to the airport to get them home.
"Then after that, drive to Huntsville, drive to Centerville, drive to Baytown,” he explained. “I don't know where got to. Figure it out as I go."
The school says it provided an airplane ticket back home for about 180 veterans who needed a way back home.