Vets get technical training to open car repair shop

Many veterans struggle when they leave the military and try to readjust to civilian life. But a group of guys in Houston is making sure their future -- and the future of other vets -- is bright.

HOUSTON - Many veterans struggle when they leave the military and try to readjust to civilian life.

But a group of guys in Houston is making sure their future and the future of other vets is bright.

The three men served in the Air Force and after years of moving around, they've settled in Houston to go the Universal Technical Institute because they want to open a car repair shop together.

Jade Call is one of those vets. He is used to loading missiles, bombs and ammunition into aircrafts. But his mission has changed and so has the size of what he's working on. Now he's dealing with cars, not planes.

"It's not easy to really to do such a big life switch, you're pivoting everything," Call said. "Your entire lifestyle is being changed and altered to something you haven't experienced before."

Call and fellow brethren Brett Smith experienced life in the Air Force for years, serving together in Okinawa Japan.

"A lot of people are scared to get out because you don't know if there's uncertainty," Smith said. "What if I can't find a job? A lot of people get out and literally live on their parents couch for another year or two to try and figure out what's going on."

Instead of any uncertainty, the pair, along with another veteran and friend, decided to uproot and move to Houston to enroll at the technical institute, which trains technicians of all kinds.

"It just dawned on me that I've turned wrenches for 10 years, why not just adapt to a car instead of a jet?" said Smith, who is being trained in engine and total car repair.

Call is in collision.

"The military is stressful, so you have to rely on the guy next to you," Call said.

They're hoping after a few years gaining experience in their respective areas, they can join as one to open that shop and rely on one another once again.

The tech institute said 30 percent of those on campus are veterans, many of whom are in high demand because of the leadership skills they have acquired.

The vets we interviewed plan on hiring more vets once they can get their shop up and running.

(© 2016 KHOU)


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