Martyred SEAL's dog refuses to leave his side in final journey
An incredibly emotional scene has unfolded at the funeral of a US Navy SEAL who was killed in Afghanistan earlier this month.
A photograph from Petty Officer Jon Tumilson’s ceremony shows how his dog refused to leave his master’s side even in his final journey.
Hawkeye, Tumilson’s Labrador retriever, is seen lying alongside the soldier’s casket in the Iowa ceremony that saw over 1500 people paying their respect to the fallen hero.
The former San Diego resident was killed when a Chinook helicopter with 29 other American service members on board crashed in Afghanistan on August 6. Read: The attack that killed the Navy SEALs
The photograph was taken by Tumilson’s cousin Lisa Pembleton who wanted to share the moment with the family and friends who could not attend the ceremony or were outside the hall.
Pembleton later contacted KPBS's Home Post publication with this statement, "Hawkeye is/was his loyal "son". 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. I hadn't planned on taking any pictures other than with family. However, from my seat at the funeral, 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. This is that photo."
Tumilson, who joined the Navy in 1995, was known to friends as J.T.
The Daily Mail reports US Navy Lieutenant Robert Bradshaw his Tumilson's parents that they helped raise an “outstanding man - a hero”.