• BREAKING NEWS ABC shows live and on-demand -- Download the WATCH ABC app!

Slain Navy SEAL Jon Tumilson's dog lies by his casket at funeral

August 25, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Navy SEAL Jon Tumilson was one of 30 Americans who died when their helicopter was shot down in Afghanistan earlier this month.

More than 1,000 mourners, friends and family attended his funeral service last week in his hometown of Rockford, Iowa. In attendance were more than 50 SEALs.

Tumilson loved his dog Hawkeye so much, he called the Labrador retriever his son. At Tumilson's funeral, that deep bond was forever captured in a photograph in which Hawkeye lay at the foot of his master's casket through the ceremony.

The image of this loyal dog spoke volumes about 35-year-old Petty Officer Tumilson. The dog is now being cared for by one of his friends.

Tumilson's cousin, Lisa Pembleton took the picture. She said it was in her view throughout the funeral and she couldn't pass up not taking the photo, so she did when her tears stopped long enough for her to focus.

Tumilson was one of 22 SEALs along with eight Afghan soldiers killed when their Chinook transport helicopter was shot down by an insurgent with a rocket-propelled grenade in eastern Afghanistan. It was the largest loss of life in a single day during the decade-long war. There has been a series of funerals for them this month.

The SEALs killed were part of the unit that killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, but none of the SEALs took part in the mission.

From a young age, Tumilson wanted to be a SEAL and eventually joined the Navy in 1995. In a statement, Tumilson's family said he died living his dream.

He is survived by his parents, sisters and extended family.


Load Comments