Heartbreaking Photo: Loyal Dog Lies Next To Deceased Navy Seal's Casket

Jon T. Tumilson and Hawkeye

In what has to be one of the most touching images I’ve ever seen, Hawkeye the dog lies next to his owner’s casket.

Petty Officer Jon T. Tumilson was laid to rest Friday in Rockford, Iowa, where an over 1,500 mourners came to pay respects for the fallen Navy SEAL, including his dog Hawkeye.

Hawkeye’s loyalty to his owner at the funeral created a heart-wrenching image as he laid down by the casket during the entire service.

Our thoughts and prayer go out to Hawkeye and the rest of Tumilson’s Family. Navy SEAL Tumilson is the definition of an American hero.

Dog Lays Next To Navy Seal Coffin 1


        • Chef Sun says

          First of all Dave, it’s you’re NOT your a shmuck.  You’re is a contraction of you are which is what I believe you’re trying to say with your limited command of English.  Secondly, that flag is to honour a fallen serviceman and it is very, very important to do these things properly.  A sloppy, wrinkled flag tossed onto the casket is insulting to this and all veterans. 

          Chef Sun

        • PJ says

          As a former Honor Guard member, it does a dis-service to the deceased when the flag is not draped with proper respects. I am assuming since this was in his home town that it was probably the funeral director who draped the flag; I am pretty sure he had no malicious intent. 

          So….if you served, or have lost friends who have served, then you would care if the flag is not right….

          • Pam B says

            Obviously the people that are saying smarta** remarks are the ones that wasn’t brave enough to serve their country. 

          • Czarina says

            Too bad he did… FOUR times! Don’t Judge someone because they were pointing out the obvious. The PJ stand for something in the Air Force, look it up.

          • Anonymous says

            I agree.   You show your love and respect by taking the time to do it right to honor the person.    It would be as if your spouse or waitrress slapped your food on a chipped plate and slammed it down in front of you.   

          • CelticPriest says

            PJ, you are spot on!  As a USAF Veteran, Vietnam War Era whose family has served since the American Revolutionary War, I take such matters seriously.  I am stunned by the “who cares?” posts here!  But, too much of the US of A today is in a “who cares?” mode, which is why we are sinking ever so slowly down the proverbial slope into past history.

        • Sweetpea says

          Take the time to learn something about the respect and  honor that we should show our fallen soldiers. Then you won’t keep making stupid remarks….just sayin’.

        • Capt. Dave says

          You know Julie, It’s people like you that are so willing to compromise on absolute truths that are causing the mediocrity of our once great nation. Sometimes things must be done properly, if done at all. There are millions of veterans that noticed that flag draped improperly. I bet most of them had the dignity not to say a word about it because what is done, is done. There was something of greater importance happening at the time. There is no doubt in my military mind that the fallen NAVY SEAL, Petty Officer Jon T. Tumilson, would have been embarassed had he known. Let me give you an example of doing things correctly the first time that I believe you can understand. “Who cares if ACORN members voted illegally?”

          • Dean Cochrun says

            One quick question for all in this debate.  If when the flag may have been done proper, and all funeral directors know how even by common sense.  Is it possible that his dog would pull it off?

          • grnmtnkate says

            I totally respect your knowledge of how a military funeral should be performed and how things should be done properly.  With that said, Captain Dave, I take issue to your blanket statement of “it’s people like you that are so willing to compromise on absolute truths…”  You know what Dave, this may not be a good example of compromising because it is so important for decorum to be displayed as a sign of respect, but in so many other aspects of life compromise is a quality.  Black and white thinking is part of why that dear sweet man is lying in that coffin, and why we are all so touched by his dog lying faithfully next to it.  Compromise, is the answer, not the myth of “absolute truths” that are not scientifically based.  Your “absolute truths” may not be mine, and that does not make me wrong nor does it make me a mediocre person.  Visa versa.  Compromise is the path to peace, my friend.  Be not so quick to judge.

          • Anonymous says

            Gravity is an absolute truth.    Light precedes life is an absiolute truth.   You don’ tget to decide what is truth, it meeets a higher standard than your feelings or opinoins.   If your truth is differrent from someone else’s truth, then some of them are not truth.   Truth is always truth;  truth is eternal.

          • Patuti60 says

            Yup. Who cares if Bush and Cheney set up General Colin Powell in front of the UN to pitch an illegal war that with out right lies and deception? Only a bit over 5 THOUSAND, mothers, sisters, brothers, fathers, uncles, aunts etc… died. Thousands more came back maimed or mentally crushed. All for profit. But Eh, WHO CARES!

          • mookkinna says

            Too many things are done sloppily today and I truly believe that a fallen soldier should at least have the proper respect of a well applied flag on his casket.  Sure it would not be done that way for any important politicians!!

          • Anonymous says

            It shows that someone nonmilitary set this up.    A mlitary person would have done it right. 

        • Patuti60 says

          Julie you are a moron. Veterans DIE for each other, and we are taught to respect the flag as a symbol of why we endure the rigors of military life. It’s a simple reminder that we as soldiers, marines, and airmen are an extension of that representation. And you put down our rituals of honor?  You are a idiot!

        • Angelica Arizola says

          i have to agree the flag is not draped properly….as a sister of a fallen hero believe me it makes a difference….on another note:REALLY PEOPLE DO YOU STILL THINK ITS JUST A DOG????…although i know that to most the draping of the flag is insignificant but for those that have to see loved ones (spouse, sons, daughter..etc..,) daily get sent back home IT MAKES A DIFFERENCE….

          • Anonymous says

            I sympathize with your loss angelica.    The comfort we have is in Thessalonians—that we will see our loved ones again in eterntity,  and that your brother (?) gave his life as he chose for  freedom.   

        • PeterM says

          I could be wrong here because I wasn’t in military.  However, I don’t believe this was the official funeral.  It was held in a gym for the family and town’s people.  Won’t they have another one with the propoer logistics, 21-gun solute, flag properly drapped, etc…

        • Charb says

          I am amazed that everyone is off the track…this is a news item about a Navy Seal’s death and his devoted dog.  Nobody has even mentioned that….just bickering over how the flag appears on the coffin.  Amazing!!!

      • Captmic says

        I’m sure there were military there to property drape the flag on the casket–I suspect the pastor came forward and incorrectly closed the lid for the service

  1. Bluelamp says

    This brought me to tears….what an amazing photograph! Rest in peace and may the Lord take care of your Hawkeye until you both meet again.

    • Tuhoewahine says

      I am crying my heart out reading this..Hawkeye..may you have the best life..I’ve not seen anything as heart wrenching as this in years..

  2. Jollyrancher73 says

    God Bless this Seal and all our troops and their families. As a K-9 handler, I have witnessed this before and it never fails to cry out the love that exists between man and dog.

  3. Viperbab01 says

    God Bless This Navy Seal who gave his life for us so we can be free, His Dog is showing  the Love for him  and only some one who has a pet could under stand what going through this dogs head it just pure Love 
     He will always love his Master. This is just so sad.

      God Bless them both, 

    • sean d says

      He didnt do it for our freedom.. the wars were not about our freedom no matter what they may tell you… these wars were a power grab for our government.  A way for them to take control of US

      • Dorist2388 says

        The Navy SEAL did what he believed was to protect our country, no matter the power plays of our government.  Shame on you for pissing on this tribute to a fallen soldier and his companion.

      • Rebel says

        Go crawl back under the rock you came out from. People like you disrespect our military all the time, if it wasn’t for those who defend our country you wouldn’t be able to say and do as you intend here in the United States of America. 

      • Rebel says

        Go crawl back under the rock you came out from. People like you disrespect our military all the time, if it wasn’t for those who defend our country you wouldn’t be able to say and do as you intend here in the United States of America. 

      • Mark says

        You don’t think fighting terrorists is protecting our nation? Do you remember 9/11? You must be the biggest idiot on the face of the earth.

      • Colopatriot says

        You should REALLY be ashamed. This man died for your right to speak like an idiot-you have the right. I have the right to say you ARE making idiotic statements that have no place here.

  4. Eaglewing47cat says

    A dog’s unconditional loyalty and love for its master often shames us humans for our often fickle affections…
    SO SAD.

  5. Roselouise62 says

    They say dogs grieve too. They say it is best to let the dog say good-bye so that he does starve himself to death by mourning his loss. So maybe this will help the dog go on also. What a sad pic and story tho. Bless your heart for serving our country so that we may live free and proud..

  6. Oceanbluemocha says

    looking at my 4 labs and this picture…all I can do is cry and think what great friends our dogs are….Good Job Hawkeye!  Dad is proud of you buddy!!!

  7. giventolovin says

    My tear’s are flowing for this beautiful and awesome canine , My heart is hurting trememdously for him and the marine’s family. May the good lord help you to find peace and go on till you meet up again . The power of devotion amaze’s me continuously. Bless all soldier’s and there canine soldier’s and the one’s waiting for them to come home.

  8. racedave says


  9. Go 4 Th says

    beautiful picture of loyalty, loyalty from the dog for his master and loyalty for a soldier for his counrty. God Bless this special man

  10. Ljinpa320 says

    This is so touching!  God Bless Petty Officer Jon T. Tumilson’s family and Hawkeye.  There is nothing stronger in this world than an dog’s loyalty and respect for his owner.  I have noted this before – when you spell dog backwards, you’re spelling God…Hawkeye, be safe and always a good boy!

  11. jura10 says

    Check out Grey Friers Bobby (Edinburgh, SCOTLAND), The true companionship of man and his best friend! So many true stories of true faith and this is another of true love and devotion. What a waste of life. What a void left behind but what a lesson on of faith in humble person! 

  12. Nancy says

    Heart breaking, hopefully his family will look after the pup, dogs are amazing, wish people were more like them. 

  13. Hammer6211970 says

    Thank you Navy Seal Tumilson for your bravery and dedication in keeping our country safe. May you rest in peace and GOD speed to the family and friend of this wonderful person who gave his life for us who enjoy our everyday freedoms. What a heart wrenching photo..

  14. says

    A very touching photo. It brings to mind the following quotation:“It’s the best deal man has ever made.” – Margery Facklam (1927- ),referring to the human-canine alliance.

  15. Jessbkoz says

    This is breaking my heart…as I’m sure the beautiful lab’s is too. Who says animals don’t have feelings.

  16. Jenny says

    This photo reminds me of my grandpa when he passed away and the dog stays beside his casket too, then 2 days after my grandpa’s funeral the dog passed away for starving himself…so it makes me cry looking at this photo. God Bless and thank you this Navy Seal who really served for our country . May his soul rest in peace and be with our Almighty God…Hawkeye be good and take care always..

  17. Janetcolton says

    Why did I look at this, it made me cry, but I’m glad I did. Such devotion to his best friend, we could all learn from dogs. Brave pair and God bless them both.

    • sum1wavoice says

      Do you know how disrespectful you are being?  If You have nothing nice to say about the story or the pictures then keep your comment to yourself… A man died and his dog is mourning like you would if you had someone close to you die…. This picture shows how much loyalty and love that dog had for his owner… and if you cant take time to acknowledge that and say something nice about it then you must be one of those that dont care.

    • Turtlemotater says

      No reason to be nasty. If you don’t like it, then don’t look at it. No need to ruin the beauty for everyone else.

    • Turtlemotater says

      No reason to be nasty. If you don’t like it, then don’t look at it. No need to ruin the beauty for everyone else.

  18. Gabe45 says

    There is no greater bond than a dog and his master. This proves the point. May God re-unite them when time comes. Both are heros

  19. Smdepolo says

    wow….  I had to leave my work desk and go to the ladies room to get myself back together after reading this.  What a loyal, loving pet….. absolutely amazing !!!!

  20. Johnebgd74 says

    i dnt know any one in my life nor myself to ever experience a friendship like that nor will i ever  the way i see it is they were made for each other till the end prob the most amazing picture iv ever seen to actually put the meaning to loyalty in a single picture and just goes to show .. a picture is worth a 1000 words at the same time leave you speechless and just overwhelmed to have a bond that close…simply amazing

  21. dexter1 says

    There are no words to express this moment.  God bless both  bless both of them,and peace and understanding to the family.

  22. Turquiose seas says

    God bless this soldier, his family (including the precious dog) and all of us who have experienced the feelings this photo invoked.

  23. Bleve261 says

    ” He is your friend, your partner,your defender, your dog.
    You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat
    of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion.” Unknown

  24. Colospg says

    I am thankful to Petty Officer Tumilson and his family for his service and their terrible loss and sacrifice. A special thanks to all who have and are serving this nation. Sadly, the flag as some have mentioned was not draped correctly. As a licensed funeral director, it looks like the flag edges were folded up and under, either while transporting the casket to the gym from the funeral home or so the pallbearers had access to the casket handles for movement of the casket. Either way the flag should have been unfolded, so it draped this patriots casket properly. The true importance is the fact that we lost an American hero. May God bring comfort to his family and friends.

  25. Ricknewman838 says


  26. Patuti60 says

    But the poor dog, in life the firmest friend,
    The first to welcome, foremost to defend,
    Whose honest heart is still his master’s own,
    Who labors, fights, lives, breathes for him alone,
    Unhonored falls, unnoticed all his worth,
    Denied in heaven the soul he held on earth –
    While man, vain insect! hopes to be forgiven,
    And claims himself a sole exclusive heaven.

    Lord Byron

  27. Xcitable17 says

    I understand all yur concern abt proper procedure with the flag but this story is about the loyalty and love a dog has for his person!!!! Right now my sons dog is waiting on a rug starring at the front door waiting for him instead of on her favorite couch.  She’s staying awake until he gets home as always and it’s after 1 am.  They love ya hero or not.

  28. Marie says

    This just goes to show that Dogs really are a Man’s Best Friend. This is soooo sad, I hope someone takes special care of Hawkeye as this poor Dog is going to need tender loving care after losing it’s master. May this Soldier Rest In Peace and may God Bless His loyal friend and family. Too many are losing their masters in this horrid war. May God be with all Men and Women who risk their lives to keep us safe everyday. I’m a Canadian and I’m proud of these Men and Women and I’m also very proud to be Born a Canadian.

  29. Marie says

    This just goes to show that Dogs really are a Man’s Best Friend. This is soooo sad, I hope someone takes special care of Hawkeye as this poor Dog is going to need tender loving care after losing it’s master. May this Soldier Rest In Peace and may God Bless His loyal friend and family. Too many are losing their masters in this horrid war. May God be with all Men and Women who risk their lives to keep us safe everyday. I’m a Canadian and I’m proud of these Men and Women and I’m also very proud to be Born a Canadian.

  30. Owen P. Hammerstein says

    That is so sad to see,he still waits for his best friend to come home. I hope that everyone who has a best that you LOVE them as much as they LOVE us.

  31. Owen P. Hammerstein says

    Everyone go to the third picture and look to see how the sun shines in on the two best friends. I am not one to be touched by images that much or honestly believe in the divine but you need to take a look.

  32. guest says

    While this is a touching story, and with respect to the deceased; I would like to point out that everyone chooses to see in the order that their brain allows them to. For those who have been trained to have a military mentality, the first most evident thing that stood out in the picture was the flag. For was it not that the reason you chose to come to this page was because the title included “Navy Seal”? As for the others, with a “civilian” mentality, does it not seem evident that you chose to come to this page because you were intrigued by the dogs actions? 

    What truly sets our world back is that we as human rather prove our righteousness over our neighbor’s. If we could understand each other’s reasoning for pointing out what our brain tells us to, do you not agree we gain the ability to learn?

  33. Lynchbonds71 says

    most amazing thing i hav ever seen.i agree the flag is wrong but that is not what this is about.bunch of dipshits.look at the dog it says everything.

  34. mollydolly says

    I understand the debate here on the flag,this could go on forver,no use in discussing the matter over and over..what really matters is the respect this dog did for his master. I have heard about this on tv and I think the family of the doilder took the dog in..I`m sure they will take good care of him.

  35. Wallyswrecked says

    I totally understand that the flag was not correct and that is disrespectful, but it is tragic that it all we can think about, when his love one are there and possible reading this, this man dog laid right be side him through all of this, can we not just have pride in the moment this instead of who is right or wrong. 
    This a sad moment and my prayers go out this many family and love ones.  this story brought tears to my eyes.  I am a animal love and this loyalty in all its glory.

  36. George a Veteran says

    TRADITION!  TRADITION!  That flag is a symbol of a great nation.  There is a tradition that covers a fallen hero’s casket in the red white and blue and it should be done correctly.  That being said, the focus here was on the faithful co-worker of a fallen hero!  If people were half as faithful as dogs are known to be, there would be no need to cover a casket with the national symbol.  Let’s just say that the flag was put there by the dog and forgive him for his being born without thumbs. 

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