More often than not, a dog is outlived by his two-legged master, and it is man who buries his four-legged best friend. That, however, is not the fate of Hawkeye, a Labrador retriever. His best friend is Navy SEAL Jon Tumilson, who was among those who perished in the Chinook crash in Afghanistan that is now described as the single greatest loss of life in the history of Naval Special Warfare.
A memorial service was held for the Iowa native on Friday, at the Rudd-Rockford-Marble Rock gym. Media shutterbugs were not allowed to cover the service, but at least one photo made it to the Internet – a photo that will spark intense interest on the Web.
The image of Hawkeye, lying morosely on the floor by Tumilson’s flag-draped casket, was taken by Lisa Pembleton, a cousin of Tumilson’s. He had led the family into the gym for the funeral and accompanied his new owner, Tumilson’s friend, to the stage during the service.
Pembleton said: “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.”