LFCC Faculty Member Serves His Community and His Country

For Immediate Release:
November 7, 2006

Primary Media Contact:
Sally Voth
Public Relations Specialist
[email protected]
Phone: 540-868-7134

WARRENTON, Va. – Butch Austin is an educator through and through. Whether he is teaching biology and anatomy and physiology to students at Lord Fairfax Community College’s (LFCC) Fauquier Campus or helping to establish a trade school in Afghanistan, Austin is committed to serving others. As Veteran’s Day approaches this year, LFCC is proud to honor one of its own.

Austin, an Ashburn resident, began teaching at LFCC in 2003. After two years with the College, Austin had to say goodbye to students and colleagues as he deployed to Afghanistan in June 2005 with the 492nd Civil Affairs Battalion out of Phoenix, Ariz. Austin began his 11-month tour as the executive officer for his battalion’s Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT). During the second half of his tour, he served as the civil affairs officer in charge.

“We were responsible for working with the Afghan government and with Afghan civilians to assist with building projects such as schools, wells, clinics, roads and bridges, in addition to providing humanitarian assistance,” Austin said. “I also got to help start a very successful trade school, which received national attention and was visited by President Karzai and several other dignitaries and generals.”

The constant danger Austin faced, the loss of some of the people he had trained with and the distance from his wife, family and friends were the hardest things about being in Afghanistan. Another difficult aspect of his service was working seven days a week with little or no down time for an entire year.

In spite of these hardships, Austin is glad that he could serve his country and try to improve the lives of others, creating an environment conducive to democracy and freedom. “I think a lot of good things are going on in Afghanistan, even though they are not always reported,” he said.

Austin arrived back in the United State in June 2006 and returned to LFCC two weeks after school began to pick up where he left off before deployment. “I am really glad to be back and see all of the wonderful administrators, staff and faculty at LFCC. Everybody welcomed me back with open arms and has been extremely helpful in my time of readjustment,” Austin said. “Being in Afghanistan for a year makes me very thankful for all that I have here in the United States and at the College.”

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Founded in 1970, Lord Fairfax Community College is a multi-campus public institution of higher education. With four locations — Middletown, Warrenton, Luray-Page County and most recently, Vint Hill— the College serves eight localities in the Shenandoah Valley and northern Piedmont regions. The localities are the counties of Clarke, Fauquier, Frederick, Page, Rappahannock, Shenandoah and Warren and the city of Winchester. LFCC offers more than 75 associate degree and certificate programs in a wide variety of disciplines, in addition to providing access to bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs offered on site by a four-year institution. LFCC also serves the business community by offering workforce preparation programs for employees and employers. LFCC serves more than 9,000 unduplicated credit students and more than 11,000 individuals in professional development and business and industry courses annually.

Lord Fairfax Community College (LFCC) is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award associate degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Lord Fairfax Community College. Lord Fairfax Community College is an equal opportunity institution providing educational and employment opportunities, programs, services, and activities and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, age, religion, disability, national origin, marital status, political affiliation, sexual orientation, or other non-merit factors. LFCC also prohibits sexual misconduct including sexual violence or harassment.

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