NWR: Dog mourns at casket of fallen Navy SEAL

Navy SEAL Jon Tumilson lay in a coffin, draped in an American flag, in front of a tearful audience mourning his death in Afghanistan. Soon an old friend appeared, and like a fellow soldier on a battlefield, his loyal dog refused to leave him behind.


Navy SEAL Killed In Afghanistan Mourned By Dog



 




Tumilson’s Labrador retriever, Hawkeye, was photographed lying by Tumilson’s casket in a heart-wrenching image taken at the funeral service in Tumilson’s hometown of Rockford, Iowa, earlier this week. Hawkeye walked up to the casket at the beginning of the service and then dropped down with a heaving sigh as about 1,500 mourners witnessed a dog accompanying his master until the end, reported CBS.



Image: Jon T. Tumilson

Petty Officer 1st Class Jon T. Tumilson was killed along with other SEALs on Aug. 6 in Afghanistan.


The photo was snapped by Tumilson’s cousin, Lisa Pembleton, and posted on her Facebook page in memory of the San Diego resident. Tumilson, 35, was one of 30 American troops, including 22 Navy SEALs, who were killed when a Taliban insurgent shot down a Chinook helicopter with a rocket-propelled grenade on Aug. 6.


“I felt compelled to take one photo to share with family members that couldn't make it or couldn't see what I could from the aisle,” Pembleton wrote on her Facebook page. “To say that he was an amazing man doesn't do him justice. The loss of Jon to his family, military family and friends is immeasurable.’’


Hawkeye was such a huge part of Tumilson’s life that Tumilson’s family followed the dog down the aisle as they entered the service in front of a capacity crowd in the gymnasium at the Rudd-Rockford-Marble Rock Community School. Hawkeye then followed Tumilson’s good friend, Scott Nichols, as Nichols approached the stage to give a speech. As Nichols prepared to memorialize his friend, Hawkeye dutifully laid down near the casket.


The youngest of three children, Tumilson had wanted to be a Navy SEAL since he was a teenager. Friends and his two older sisters remembered a fearless soldier, and a Power Point presentation was shown that illustrated Tumilson’s active life outside of the military, which included scuba diving, martial arts, and triathlons.

"If J.T. had known he was going to be shot down when going to the aid of others, he would have went anyway," friend Boe Nankivel said at the service.


“Your dreams were big and seemed impossible to nearly everyone on the outside," his sister, Kristie Pohlman, said at the service. "I always knew you'd somehow do what you wanted."


As for Hawkeye, the loyal Labrador will now be owned by Nichols, Tumilson’s friend.

Posted on August 25, 2011 at 8:12 am
mwalch
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10/23/2011
mwalch

mwalch

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(18) Comments

ridegrl1
5
08/04/2013

ridegrl1

My friend posted this on Facebook yesterday, it makes me cry everytime I see it :(

Posted on August 25, 2011 at 8:13 am
mwalch
3
10/23/2011
mwalch

mwalch

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mwalch

me too! My dad sent it to me and I had tears streaming down my face.

Posted on August 25, 2011 at 8:14 am
AuntTate
4
09/10/2011
AuntTate

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AuntTate

Oh my gosh, I'm all teary eyed at work..........this is why I own pets.  God Bless him and his family.

Posted on August 25, 2011 at 8:14 am
SkierEric
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01/20/2012
SkierEric

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SkierEric

:( so sad

Posted on August 25, 2011 at 8:15 am
msdl
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05/28/2011
msdl

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msdl

Agree, ridegrl. I saw it yesterday, and it has haunted me ever since. Such an incredibly sad photo.

Posted on August 25, 2011 at 8:15 am
mlunavital92
2
06/14/2013
mlunavital92

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mlunavital92

I am in tears!!! What a brave soldier and what a loyal companion! May his family and friends find comfort and may that dog be a reminder of what a great man he was! God bless America!!!

Posted on August 25, 2011 at 8:15 am
carolinawedding
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03/19/2011
carolinawedding

carolinawedding

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carolinawedding

wtf is with PW making me cry today?!

Posted on August 25, 2011 at 8:18 am
meglynn206
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06/02/2012
meglynn206

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meglynn206

omgosh this is sooo sad! I love dogs

Posted on August 25, 2011 at 8:19 am
smiledearest
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05/18/2012
smiledearest

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smiledearest

Seriously made me cry :[

Posted on August 25, 2011 at 8:29 am
MaineBride
5
09/04/2011
MaineBride

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MaineBride

I read that and literally teared up. 

Posted on August 25, 2011 at 8:30 am
SpringBride2011
10
05/21/2011
SpringBride2011

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SpringBride2011

That is so sad, I am sitting here at work crying for his poor family, friends and especially that poor dog. It's amazing the amount of love and loyalty dogs are capable of. We really have a lot to learn from them!

Posted on August 25, 2011 at 8:35 am
budzise.to.be1008
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budzise.to.be1008

So sad, like everyone, brought tears to me..

Posted on August 25, 2011 at 8:37 am
Katiae45
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06/06/2011
Katiae45

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Katiae45

That is so sad.

Posted on August 25, 2011 at 8:37 am
futuremrsgamboa
3
11/05/2011
futuremrsgamboa

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futuremrsgamboa

how sad... :(

Posted on August 25, 2011 at 8:52 am
cbrust
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09/10/2011
cbrust

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cbrust

sooo heartbreaking. Jon was wactually a good friend of a friend, I can't imagine what all the families and friends are going through right now.

Posted on August 25, 2011 at 9:01 am
winklkr
2
11/05/2011
winklkr

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winklkr

I tear up every time I see this photo :(

Posted on August 25, 2011 at 9:02 am
Kaytana17
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07/17/2010
Kaytana17

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Kaytana17

Wow..absolutely heart breaking. 

Posted on August 25, 2011 at 9:07 am
p31queen
3
05/19/2012
p31queen

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p31queen

I was in tears when I read this yesterday. So sad :'(

Posted on August 25, 2011 at 9:08 am

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