CHILHOWIE, Va. (WDBJ) -- Troopers rode into Chilhowie on Saturday morning from across the nation, each with a deeply personal reason for doing so.
One group came down from New York because of a direct connection they shared with fallen Virginia State Trooper Lucas Dowell.
"I worked out of his office," said New York State Trooper Nathan Seifried. "I worked out of Lucas' office when I was down here."
Seifried previously worked for Virginia State Police. He left Unit 20 for New York shortly before Dowell arrived.
"We all know the same people," he said. "We worked with the same guys, and to go in there and see these guys and just how emotional they are, it really hits home."
Of the eight New York state troopers who came for the funeral, four had previously worked in Virginia. They said the bond that formed then is what brought them back now.
"Being a Virginia State Trooper, we have a bond amongst each other, and that's unbreakable," said Trooper Romel Arias, who also now works for New York State Police. "And being here to support them for something like this, a tragedy, you know, we want to come together in good times, but unfortunately, this is when we come together."
As Trooper Dowell made his final pass through the town where he grew up, those he knew, and those he didn't, all knew exactly why they were there.
"You look across and you've got basically the whole country covered," Seifried said. "There's agencies from all around the country that are here and it just goes to show everybody that we all bleed the same. We all think the same. We all act the same. You hate to use the cliche, but it really is a huge family."