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 "Fido" Feichtinger looks out from the canopy of his F-16 fighter jet at Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora. Feichtinger flew active duty for the United States Air Force for 12 years before settling down into a part-time job with the Colorado Air National Guard four years ago. Middle: As a pilot in the Guard's 120th Fighter Squadron, Feichtinger is often assigned to 90-day tours in the Middle East, which take him away from his wife of seven years, Julie, and their daughter Lauren. Bottom: Feichtinger also flies commercially for Southwest Airlines. He often has to change out of his flight suit into his Southwest uniform, and drive directly from Buckley to Denver International Airport. Opening spread: From the back seat of an F-16, piloted by Captain TenEyck "Thor" LaTourrette, photographer Tyler Stableford captures four fighter jets flying in formation over Pikes Peak.