TribLIVE

| USWorld


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

SEAL's faithful companion leads to 'NCIS,' life-size statue in Iowa

© Lisa Pembleton / Facebook

Daily Photo Galleries

By Gannett
Saturday, March 23, 2013, 6:36 p.m.
 

DES MOINES — A now-famous photograph of a black Lab guarding his master's flag-draped coffin in 2011 has inspired a TV program and a statue.

Navy SEAL Jon Tumilson, a 35-year-old from Rockford, Iowa, died in Afghanistan in August 2011 when the Chinook helicopter carrying him and 29 others was shot down.

His cherished dog, Hawkeye, led Tumilson's family into the funeral.

What happened next resulted in a photo that went viral.

When Scott Nichols, a family friend, went to the front of the venue to speak, Hawkeye walked to Tumilson's flag-draped coffin, dropped to the floor and stayed there, as if on guard.

Last week's episode of “NCIS” incorporated a scene reminiscent of Tumilson's funeral. “It all started with a photograph,” “NCIS” executive producer Scott Williams wrote on the “NCIS” blog. “It served as yet another stark reminder of the sacrifices made by our military men and women and their families (pets included).”

Touched by the episode, Tumilson's brother-in-law Scott McMeekan reached out to the “NCIS” cast on the CBS blog.

“We will be unveiling a life-size bronze statue of Jon and Hawkeye this summer in his hometown, and would like to personally invite Mark (Harmon) and ... your cast members to come and celebrate that special event with us,” he wrote.

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Nation

  1. Navy developing robotic fish drone
  2. Gettysburg national park poised to expand by 45 acres
  3. EPA tabs $3.1M to curb algae in Lake Erie
  4. Harvard study bolsters link between pollution, autism
  5. Smoking, drinking falls off among teens, but not drug use
  6. West Virginia man dies after being shot with arrow in Wellsburg
  7. Sen. McConnell wants to stop coal rules
  8. New York move to ban fracking heartens critics
  9. $1.5B more a year — from fees tacked onto phone bills — earmarked for faster Internet
  10. U.S., Cuba patching torn relations with historic accord
  11. Lifting limits on Cuba a boon for U.S.
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.