ACC's Fire Academy renews veteran's passion to serve

David Renfro, Army veteran and future firefighter, at the ACC Fire Academy.

David Renfro, Army veteran and future firefighter, at the ACC Fire Academy.

Being a hero, serving and protecting, it’s in David Renfro’s blood. Renfro grew up in South Austin, down the road from a local fire house. Every time he heard the sirens, destiny was calling.

When Renfro graduated from Crockett High School in 2007 he joined the Army. He thrived in the team environment.

“When they say they have your back, they actually mean it,” says Renfro.

Renfro learned just how much they mean it while fighting on the front lines in Afghanistan.

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He served as a parachute infantryman with Company D, 1st Battalion, 501st Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division. While deployed to Combat Outpost Sabari in Khost province, Renfro and his squad  battled enemy fire. Renfro took a hit, and  his comrades pulled him to safety where medics quickly took over.

He doesn’t like to talk about his injuries or his recovery, but the military didn’t forget. On December 17, 2009, Renfro was awarded the Purple Heart.

When his service came to an end, Renfro struggled to find a place where he belonged and a team he could be a part of once again.

“Once I got out, that void just couldn’t be filled with any other job,” says Renfro. “One of the things I learned in the military about myself is I’m a better person when I’m working in a team.”

He found his way back to Austin and enrolled at Austin Community College, but quickly realized the classroom couldn’t fill that void alone.

Instead, the sirens of his childhood quietly echoed in the back of his mind. Soon Renfro discovered ACC’s Fire Academy. He enrolled and there he found a new group of comrades.

“There’s no other job to where you get to work on a team and depend on a team,” says Renfro.

Renfro is back on the front lines; still a hero, still serving and protecting.

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