DENVER -- You could say they're "gas stations in the sky," huge Air Force tankers used to refuel fighter jets in midair.
Flying them is a tough job, but crucial -- so that those fighter pilots can stay in the air longer -- and travel farther -- as they carry out bombing missions in the fight against ISIS.
But for Air Force Major Kyle Reichert of Franktown, these dangerous missions are all in a day's work.
As a tanker pilot, he's choreographed these mid-air meet-ups hundreds of times.
Reichert is in Qatar, where he's currently on duty. His wife Andrea and his young son Alexander are in Australia, where Reichert has been working for the past three years as part of an exchange program with the Royal Australian Air Force.
While he's learning to fly their planes, they sent someone to our Air Force to learn how to fly our aircraft.
"It's designed to build mutual trust between our two militaries," Reichert said.
It is the definition of a coalition, two countries, working together. And for Reichert, it has been a lot of fun living down under.
"I think we have a lot of things in common, whether it`s values or perspectives in life, I think we have a lot of things in common with our friends in Australia," Reichert said.
Reichert has been in the Air Force nearly 12 years. But he often thinks back to his younger years at Chatfield Senior High and the University of Colorado, and he longs for Colorado. So we thought it would be nice to send him a present from back home.
"Thanks very much. It's really an honor to get that. And I just want to say that we really miss all our family and friends in Colorado and we want to thank you for your support," Reichert said.
But we're the ones who should say thank you to this Colorado hero -- spending time away from his family -- in service to his country.
If you know someone worthy of this honor, like an active military member, a veteran, a family member or volunteer -- click here for the nomination form. We'll name another Hero of the Month at the beginning of April.AlertMe