"It's just shock at first, and then the sadness sets in, and you go to thinking how could this happen to our heroes. But it did, so now we need to step in and help the families", says Jimmy DeFoor, of the Taylor County Veterans Office.
The hours that separate Abilene from Midland aren't standing in the way of local veteran support groups to extend their services.
LeTrica Guthrie with the Abilene Veterans Center helped orchestrate a mobile counseling center for those affected by the tragic loss.
"We went over this morning and we are waiting to see whats going on. If we need to, we will stay", Guthrie tells us.
We spoke with counselor, Dennis Wright, in Midland, who says the initial shock to the community is only one issue to address, and the emotional impact on the surviving veterans can open up healed wounds.
"With veterans, the way they will process this is from what they already went through. And the one's we've talked to, and the spouses, tell us that every one of those veterans is just thinking about what they went through", says Wright.
The pain caused by the lost lives in Midland is felt by communities near and far. Veterans and civilians alike have made it clear that they're willing to step in to help with the healing along the way
The Veterans Center told KRBC they aren't sure how long they will be in Midland, but they anticipate meeting with spouses of the victims, and explain it will be an ongoing healing process that could require a lot of counseling. But for now, Abilene counselors have set up camp in Midland, and will stay there as long as they are needed.