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Navy SEAL Jon Tumilson lay in a coffin, 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.
Nicole Duman
Nicole Duman • 2 years ago

This is a sad story.... but the commitment to serving is inspiring. 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. 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. 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.

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ROCKFORD, Iowa — A fallen Navy SEAL’s Labrador retriever proved his loyalty this week when he walked up to his master’s casket and lay down, refusing to leave his side. Navy SEAL Jon Tumilson, 35, a San Diego resident, was among 30 American troops and 22 fellow SEALs killed when a Chinook helicopter was shot down in Afghanistan on August 6. During his funeral in his hometown of Rockford, Iowa this week, Tumilson’s dog, ‘Hawkeye,’ walked up to the casket, heaved a sigh and dropped down a...

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Capt. Steven Wieman, commanding officer of Naval Air Facility Atsugi, lays a wreath on a flag-draped coffin during a Memorial Day observance at Alliance Park.

They say that a dog is a man's best friend, and for Navy SEAL Jon Tumilson, 35, and his beloved and loyal dog Hawkeye, not even death could break this powerful bond. How sad...