Andy and Ashley Williams are the stars of the new HGTV show "Flip or Flop Fort Worth," which is shooting an episode in River Oaks, Thursday, Oct. 4, 2017. (Rodger Mallison/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/TNS)

Andy and Ashley Williams are the stars of the new HGTV show "Flip or Flop Fort Worth," which is shooting an episode in River Oaks, Thursday, Oct. 4, 2017. (Rodger Mallison/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/TNS)

Rodger Mallison/TNS

Andy and Ashley Williams are on a different kind of mission with Flip or Flop Fort Worth

Flip or Flop has proven popular with the home-improvement crowd, much like Fixer Upper that stars Waco couple Chip and Joanna Gaines. Real estate investors buy houses, renovate them and hope to sell them -- flip them -- for a profit.

The married couple met while serving in the armed forces in Iraq and now live in Fort Worth. They've already faced down the adjustment from military life to civilian life and come out on top. Or at least on TV.

"The hardest part was coming back to a culture that we were totally just oblivious to," Ashley says. "Normally in the military, somebody will tell you exactly what they want you to do and exactly how they want you to do it. In civilian life, you may or may not get direct direction. That was definitely the hardest thing for me."

They came, they saw, they triumphed. After that, what's a little drywall? 

"What we did was we acclimatized as fast as we could, and we went back to our principles, which is kind of what we do now, which is serve in the capacity we can," Andy says.

The quick-witted Andy -- just watch the show for his way with words -- and Ashley may be the latest darlings of the home-improvement world. But that wasn't what they set out to do.

Andy finds houses and Ashley redesigns them. For them, it's for reasons other than money or fame. They feel they are investing in communities and the people, especially veterans, who live in them.

"It was never a goal to ... be on HGTV. We were solving a problem and we still are," says Ashley, who was in the Army and worked in a hospital. "Not a lot of people know but [when] we started our very first veteran transitioning, he came to live in our house when he was getting out of the Marine Corps. ... So our mission started far before the cameras came up and HGTV caught hold of it. It was our want to continue to serve. So for us to solve a problem, that was kind of like our mission, our new marching orders."

There's one adjustment Ashley is still getting used to.

Why Chip and Joanna's (and Fixer Upper's) exit matters to viewers 

"People know your ... full name and know your background, know so much about you and they're so excited to see you. That's not something that I accounted for," Ashley says. "It's exciting, but it's like 'Whoa'."

Whoa, too, to some of the remodeled homes in which their personalities go on display. The neighborhoods are important to them. And they have favorites.

"River Oaks," Ashley says. 

Andy: "Our favorite neighborhood right now is the neighborhood of opportunity." 

He's still on a mission. He does his research, and then they invest. 

"If we're going to buy a house in that neighborhood, best believe we're at least buying 10 or 20," Andy says. 

"Because it's not enough for us to buy a house in one neighborhood and get out. ... It's important for us to revitalize the neighborhood that not only can help out the community but also impact those people that are serving."

He also agrees with Ashley: "River Oaks is our favorite little neighborhood right now."

The mission to help veterans has given them the opportunity to fix up Fort Worth, one house at a time. 

The pride is evident when Ashley talks about one particular redo -- a house in Arlington Heights she says "no one would touch."

"I mean, it just looked horrible," she says. But after an old-school, Hollywood makeover, it was a home.

Andy says his wife has a "real personal touch" with the homes they take on.

"We really are designing them as if it's our home."

Flip or Flop Fort Worth, airing now on HGTV, is finished with filming the first season. 

"If they're kind enough to invite us back, I think it's something that we'd definitely be excited for," Andy says. "Right now, we're just enjoying as Ash would say, 'the fruit of the labor'."

Flip or Flop Fort Worth airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. on HGTV. It's part of a franchise that includes offshoots in Atlanta and Vegas.

For more TV news, views and reviews, follow @DawnBurkes on Twitter.

What's Happening on GuideLive