AURORA, Colo. — Sgt. Catherine Rayburn just got home from Afghanistan about 40 days ago and she is already deploying again.
The Colorado National Guard member is part of a Blackhawk helicopter maintenance crew leaving for Kosovo as part of NATO training and exercises over the next year.
It comes just six weeks after returning from Afghanistan, where she spent six months working on a Chinook helicopter maintenance crew.
Rayburn is one of 130 soldiers from the 135th Aviation Regiment honored at a farewell ceremony last week at Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora.
There is a sense of adventure that comes with a job like this. And a sense of danger too. Rayburn experienced some of that in Afghanistan.
“We were flying combat, (and) the Taliban is still active there, so we did have some hairy moments,” she told FOX31.
Like most members of the military, she bristles at being called a hero.
“Heroes are people who go out and do all of these super amazing things. There’s a lot of fame and glory to that, and I just want to drink my coffee and play with my helicopters,” she said.
But we think what Rayburn does is amazing. So we named her the FOX31 Serving Those Who Serve Hero of the Month for January 2020. And with the award comes a $750 Visa gift card from our sponsors Rocky Mountain Honda Dealers, The Leo Hill Charitable Trust and Colorado Veterans Project.
“Wow, thank you so much… that’s… wow,” Rayburn said when handed the award.
We’re impressed by what she’s already done and what she’s about to do to keep our country and the world safe.
To nominate a veteran, active duty service member, spouse or military volunteer for our Hero of the Month honors, click here.