-Petty Officer Jon Tumilson killed in Afghanistan crash
-Navy SEAL was one of 38 shot down in helicopter
-Labrador retriever Hawkeye was at emotional service
By Mark Duell
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Sadness: Navy SEAL Jon Tumilson's Labrador retriever Hawkeye was loyal to the end, as he refused to leave his master's side during an emotional funeral
This heart-wrenching photo shows how a Navy SEAL’s dog refused to leave his master’s side during an emotional funeral.
Petty Officer Jon Tumilson, 35, killed in the major U.S. helicopter crash in Afghanistan this month, was remembered by around 1,500 mourners.
But it was his Labrador retriever Hawkeye that really captured the public’s emotions in the photo taken by Mr Tumilson’s cousin, Lisa Pembleton.
Man's best friend: Mr Tumilson's family members followed Hawkeye into the service before he lay down
Mr Tumilson, of San Diego, California, was one of 38 killed on August 6 when a rocket-propelled grenade took out a U.S. Chinook helicopter.
His funeral was held on Friday in his hometown of Rockford, Iowa, at the Rudd-Rockford-Marble Rock Community School.
Ms Pembleton said: ‘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.
'To say that he was an amazing man doesn't do him justice. The loss of Jon to his family, military family and friends is immeasurable.'
Big funeral: Petty Officer Jon Tumilson, 35, killed in the Afghanistan helicopter crash this month, was remembered by around 1,500 mourners
Pride: Mr Tumilson's mother and father were told they helped raise an 'outstanding man - a hero'
During the service, U.S. Navy Lieutenant Robert Bradshaw told Mr Tumilson's parents that they helped raise an ‘outstanding man - a hero’.
Family, friends and servicemen, along with Iowa Governor Terry Branstad and U.S. Senator Charles Grassley, packed the school's gymnasium.
Mr Tumilson, who joined the Navy in 1995, was known to friends as J.T.
‘J.T. was going to be a Navy SEAL come hell or high water,’ friend Scott Nichols said. ‘He wasn't afraid of dying.’
Packed: His funeral was held in his hometown of Rockford, Iowa, at the Rudd-Rockford-Marble Rock Community School
Downed: Mr Tumilson, of San Diego, California, was one of 38 killed on August 6 when a rocket-propelled grenade took out their Chinook helicopter
‘If J.T. had known he was going to be shot down when going to the aid of others, he would have went anyway,’ friend and soldier Boe Nankivel said.
Mr Tumilson's sister, Kristie Pohlman, said he always dreamed of joining the military's elite special forces unit.
‘Your dreams were big and seemed impossible to nearly everyone on the outside,’ she said. ‘I always knew you'd somehow do what you wanted.’
Family members followed Hawkeye into the service. Mr Tumilson is survived by two sisters and his parents, George and Kathleen.
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