Tumilson was killed in Afghanistan August 6, 2011, along with 21 other Navy Seals when their chinook helicopter was shot down by Afghan insurgents. At the funeral on Aug 11, 2011 in his hometown of Rockford, Iowa – Hawkeye, Jon’s Chocolate Lab, led the family as they walked down the aisle toward the front of the church. The family had always referred lovingly to the dog as “Jon’s son”. The family sat but Hawkeye continued to the front and flopped down below Tumlison’s casket with heart-wrenching sigh. He layed there in front of the 1,500 in attendance until he was finally coaxed to stand and leave. The photo displayed behind the casket is that of Jon and Hawkeye together on the beach in San Diego.
Hawkeye was taken in by Tumilson’s great friend, Scott Nicholas.
One day, hopefully many many years from now, when Hawkeye passes away, his collar or dog tags should live on in Jon’s Memory Keeper.