The brave citizens who comprise the 140th Wing, Colorado Air National Guard, at Aurora's Buckley Air Force Base protect our state and the country at home and abroad. Here, we take an intimate look at these true hometown heroes. Photography by Tyler Stableford
Top: Major Paul Feichtinger and Major Marc "Kidd" Garceau are both "traditional guardsmen," which means they also have full-time employment beyond their duties at Buckley. Like Feichtinger, Garceau flies commercially for Southwest Airlines. Bottom: Captain TenEyck "Thor" LaTourrette gives a preflight briefing for a training mission at the 120th Fighter Squadron's operations desk. Training missions attempt to replicate operations the fighter pilots will execute on active duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. Colorado Air National Guard pilots provide air-to-ground and close air support in these areas of military operations. Although they typically fly high enough to avoid surface-to-air missiles, these missions are anything but safe.