Navy SEAL Mourned By Loyal Friend

by M-Gillies

Apparently 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.

Perhaps Napoleon Bonaparte said it best, upon finding a dog beside the body of his dead master, licking his face and howling to the moonlit sky in the battlefield, “This soldier, I realized, must have had friends at home and in his regiment; yet he lay there deserted by all except his dog. I looked on, unmoved at battles which decided the future of nations. Tearless, I had given orders which brought death to thousands. Yet, here I was stirred, profoundly stirred, stirred to tears. And by what? By the grief of one dog.”

Everyone has a favorite pet. For some, it may be a creature that requires little to no pampering like a lizard, fish or even a rat. For others, there seems to be a general consensus in the divide. Some are strictly dog fanatics, others, cats. Even if you are a hardcore cat fanatic, it’s difficult not to notice the devoted loyalty that dogs radiate over their owners – particularly, in the case of fallen Navy SEAL Jon Tumilson and his dog Hawkeye.

To many; his family, his military family and his friends his life was a loss of immeasurable proportions. While he is survived by his parents George and Kathleen and two sisters, he also left behind what some would consider his loyal son, Hawkeye.

Along with over 1000 mourners, throughout the service, held in his hometown of Rockford, Iowa, at the Rudd-Rockford Marble Rock Community School, Tumilson’s Labrador Retriever, Hawkeye lay before the American flag draped casket. Solemnly mourning his master’s death, Hawkeye’s sentimental refusal to leave his master’s side during the emotional funeral brought heart-breaking grief for a man who was considered a hero.

Born in 1976, Tumilson joined the Navy in 1995 and was determined to join the military’s elite special forces unit and become a Navy SEAL and he trained hard, leaving one friend to say, “(He) was going to be a Navy SEAL come hell or high water.”

Meanwhile, Tumilson’s sister, Kristie Pohlman said of her brother, “Your dreams were big and seemed impossible to nearly everyone on the outside. I always knew you’d somehow do what you wanted.”

A man of immense perseverance, Tumilson became a Navy SEAL in 2002, and during recent trips home had been discussing retiring from the service in 2014, after having contributed 20 years to the service, in order to pursue a career in the CIA or US Secret Service. However, in August, 2011, while on mission in Afghanistan, Tumilson and 38 others were killed after a rocket-propelled grenade took out the US Chinook helicopter they were riding in.

In honor of Tumilson’s service to the Navy SEALs, a fund has been set-up and is accepting donations that can be sent to Frogman 238 Memorial Fund.

Video:

Dog stands by owner at his funeral | YouTube

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