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The redcoats of McCarran Airport

How do tourists who lost it all in Las Vegas get back home? With a little help from McCarran's redcoats.

Not all situations are so routine. Mr. Torrence, a 48-year-old Army veteran who also worked as a federal prison guard and a security manager at the Bellagio resort, deals regularly with gamblers who have lost everything. He is authorized to sign for meals—paid for out of the airport's terminal operations budget. Concessionaires, cab companies and others can step in as well, making vouchers available for food, one-way cab fare and other necessities. But getting people home is often difficult if they've cashed in their airline ticket and end up stranded. Airport officials work with airlines to get the cheapest fare possible, but often all Mr. Torrence can offer is phone calls to friends and relatives who can provide a credit card to get someone home.

As a longtime journalist in Southern Nevada, native Las Vegan Andrew Kiraly has served as a reporter covering topics as diverse as health, sports, politics, the gaming industry and conservation. He joined Desert Companion in 2010, where he has helped steward the magazine to become a vibrant monthly publication that has won numerous honors for its journalism, photography and design, including several Maggie Awards.