SEAL's faithful companion leads to 'NCIS,' life-size statue in Iowa
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
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Suspect in Colorado attack called loner who left few clues
- Nuclear crossroad: California reactors face uncertain future
- Plasma burp seen in star’s destruction by black hole
- Floods claim lives in Texas
- Chicago retail district targeted by protesters
- American held captive in Cuba for 5 years expected quick release
- Man accused of jumping White House fence left suicide note, authorities say
- White House fence jumper captured on lawn
- Prescription skin drug costs skyrocket
- Nation’s $1 billion defense against biological terrorism faulty, GAO watchdog warns
- Democrats face long odds in battle for lost congressional seats