Dog Hawkeye lays next to coffin
Story of unconditional love as the dog Hawkeye lays besides his owner’s coffin after losing him in helicopter crash in Afghanistan
The story of the dog Hawkeye, a chocolate lab, focuses on how an animal does not use words to define the term unconditional love. The dog Hawkeye, wants nothing more in life than to have his master J.T. back. The picture that is making headlines is seen below.
An American flag lays draped over a cherry wood coffin; a picture of the late Petty Officer Jon Tumilson and his dog Hawkeye rests against the podium. Have you heard the story of the Navy SEAL dog Hawkeye yet? Earlier this month 38 individuals were killed when a Chinook helicopter crashed in Afghanistan. Hawkeye is a Labrador retriever who is touching hearts around the globe with his display of loyalty, remaining by his master’s side up until the very end.
If tears are swelling up in your eyes, you’re not alone. Personally I have never seen a more beautiful or touching display of affection in my entire life, but I know my own dog Champ, would do the same. Every life I believe has a soul mate, for some it is found within the warm, deep eyes of a dog. In the case of Hawkeye and his owner Petty Officer Jon Tumilson one thing that goes through my head is the statement that the Daily Mail had on their site.
“Nikki Virgilio, a friend of Mr Tumilson (known as J.T.) who was at the funeral, said Hawkeye was a personal pet rather than a military dog.”
Although Nikki said Hawkeye was more of a personal pet, he was still a military service dog, who has lost not only his owner but his partner in the field as well. Many military service members who survive when their fellow service members do not, struggle with survivor’s guilt. Sprawled next to his master’s coffin, I wonder if Hawkeye will experience much of the same thing.
There are tales of dogs, like Hawkeye, whose owners pass on before them. There is a reason why the dog Hawkeye lay at his master’s coffin, as friends and family described Petty Officer Jon Tumlison as an outstanding man, a hero that would go into battle and die just so others would not have too.
At the age of 35, J.T.’s life was cut short as he left behind two sisters, his parents George and Kathleen and of course his faithful companion, Hawkeye.
Hawkeye was such important parts of J.T.’s life that he even wrote in his will whom the chocolate lab would be left to if in fact he was no longer able. J.T. willed his close friend, Scott Nichols, who had cared for Hawkeye while J.T was deployed overseas, to take care for Hawkeye for the rest of his doggy years.
Stories like J.T.’s and Hawkeye’s remind this writer everyday to be thankful for the freedom I have to cover stories and do as I please on a day-to-day basis. Everything comes with a price, be thankful towards our military, acknowledge what they do, because everything comes with a price. My prayers and warm wishes go out to the family and friends of this honorable man. The bond seen within the photo between J.T. and his dog Hawkeye transcends the boundary between life and death, proving unconditional love is real.