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

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.
© 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.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Nation

  1. Judge jails Kentucky clerk for refusing marriage licenses
  2. CDC lauds schools for better nutrition
  3. Army fully opens Ranger School to female soldiers
  4. 1 Marine killed, 9 hurt in helicopter hard landing
  5. Judge clears way for revival of NSA wiretap suit
  6. World population of trees to people: 422 to 1, team finds
  7. Financial exec gets 8 years for fraud
  8. Sasquatch sighting! Maine police say Bigfoot artist nabbed
  9. Gas boom brings successes, struggles to W.Va. communities
  10. Senate Dems get 34th vote to hand Obama victory on Iran deal
  11. House panel sets hearing on Planned Parenthood