RIP Petty Officer Jon T. Tumilson and best wishes for Hawkeye

| August 23, 2011

(If that picture doesn’t tear you up inside, you need to verify you have a soul. This is why I will always be a dog guy. A cat would never do this.)

From the Des Moines register:

Jon Thomas Tumilson wrote a class paper when he was 15 about how he wanted to spend the next 20 years as a Navy SEAL, an elite member of the U.S. armed forces.

On Friday, an estimated 1,500 mourners paid their last respects to Petty Officer Tumilson, a Navy SEAL whose helicopter was shot down in Afghanistan on Aug. 6, about 20 years after Tumilson wrote that paper. He was 35 when he died in one of the deadliest attacks on U.S. forces in the decade-old U.S. deployment to Afghanistan.

“J.T. was going to be a Navy SEAL come hell or high water,” friend Scott Nichols said of Tumilson, who was born in Osage on July 1, 1976, the nation’s bicentennial year, and grew up in Rockford.

The story about Hawkeye is what really got the waterworks flowing for me:

Family members followed Tumilson’s ribbon-winning Labrador retriever, Hawkeye, into the service. Hawkeye later accompanied his new owner, Nichols, Tumilson’s close friend, to the stage, where the Lab dutifully dropped to the floor to listen.

When I was in A-stan, I lost one of my dogs (technically my Housemates.)  My own dog apparently slept on the spot where we buried her for a week, and refused to come in.  When I heard that from halfway around the world, it just tore me up inside.  My prayers go out to the families of everyone that knew JT and those who were touched by what he did in his too-short life, but a part of me also hopes that Hawkeye will understand in his little doggie mind why his Dad won’t be there to throw a tennis ball for him anymore.

Since I am already misty-eyed, I might as well watch Emmet Thunderpaws with his dad….



Category: Politics

Comments (30)

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  1. S6R says:

    This is why I can’t take a country seriously if they don’t keep dogs as pets.

    Dog = man’s best friend.

    Any other societal outlook on dogs = not man’s best friend.

  2. PintoNag says:

    They don’t call them “fur angels” for nothing.

    RIP Petty Officer Tumilson.

  3. Franny says:

    I dated two guys that were cat people, I should have known better when I met them, because there is nothing like the love of a dog (or a person who understands them). You just broke my heart. RIP Petty Officer Tumilson.

  4. Old Trooper says:

    That picture says it all. Nothing more can or needs to be said.

    As for Emmitt Thunderpaws……my first Dane was all black like him.

  5. GI JANE says:

    RIP PO Tumilson.

    As for everyone who took this opportunity just to trash cats, STFU. My family has owned dogs and cats at the same time. All of them were wonderful companions and got along fine. Jeezus. Get a life.

  6. Old Tanker says:

    Dang monitor keeps getting all blurry….

    Trooper, here you go, this was my buddy….

  7. Gina says:

    GI Jane: I think it’s you who needs to get a life and while at it, a clue as to the significance of the thread you’re going off in. I’m a cat person myself and don’t take offense to the comments, some people just aren’t into cats. Get over it.

    As to the thread and the heart-wrenching pic, I just want to hug that sweet pup. RIP Petty Officer Tumilson and have no fear Hawkeye, daddy will watch over you.

  8. Old Tanker says:


    Who just trashed cats? One person called a couple of cat owners flakes (at least that’s how I read that comment) did I miss all of the other comments that mentioned cats? Not one single person took this opportunity “just to trash cats” Wow, who needs a life?

  9. melony says:

    aw man…i say a tissue alert was in order for this…

    RIP Petty Officer Tumilson. God Speed!

  10. Love my dogs. And for Jane: Cats are great mousers, and when I have a barn, I have a barn cat to keep the rodent population down. Never have I seen a cat that graduated obedience school, and in my domicile, obedience is a requirement to maintain order. Love my Great Pyrenees cat chasing dog.

  11. PintoNag says:

    That’s a handsome pup, Old Tanker!

  12. streetsweeper says:

    R.I.P. PO Jon T. Tumilson

  13. melle1228 says:

    Omg I am all blubbery now!

    Cats and dogs are both great pets, but are very different…

    A cat says ” I am here so now worship and adore me.”

    A dog says ” You are here, I worship and adore you.”

    Nothing says loyalty like a dog!

  14. PintoNag says:

    …and as a cat owner (who has also been a dog owner, as well) I can throw into the fray with these pearls of wisdom:

    “Dogs have owners — cats have staff.”

    “All the world’s a cat toy!”

    “A couple thousand years ago, people worshipped cats as gods. The cats have never forgotten this.”

  15. melle1228 says:

    >“Dogs have owners — cats have staff.”

    I heard this one.. and it is soo true..

    >“A couple thousand years ago, people worshipped cats as gods. The cats have never forgotten this.”

    LMAO– Hadn’t heard that one, but that is great and also soo true.. (three dogs and two cats)

    I used to think that when they left their kills at my back door that was their “present” for me taking care of them. After reading an animal behavioral book-apparently not. A cat leaves it’s kill for you when you are a sucky hunter. Apparently he is trying to “teach” you how to hunt. My cat’s must think I was the dumbest human in the world. Here they were insulting me, and I thought they were flattering me!

  16. Old Tanker says:

    Pinto, truer words have never been spoken. Disclaimer; I too have owned cats…and the last was in charge of the Dane!

  17. Old Trooper says:

    Old Tanker; that’s what my current Dane looks like. My neighbors call him “the cow”, lol.

  18. Old Trooper says:

    Now, so as to not get anyone’s dander up (notice the pun?), I will ‘splain the difference between dogs and cats: Dogs have families, cats have staff.

  19. B'emet Or says:

    Rest in Peace PO Jon T. Tumilson, Our country owes you a debt we can never repay…..

  20. defendUSA says:

    Damn…those dog videos are killer…ouch and ouch again…

    RIP J.T., you won’t be forgotten.

  21. Tman says:

    I’m a cat lover myself but like all animals. This teared me up big time.

  22. Susan says:

    I just wish most humans were as loyal as most dogs.

  23. CI says:

    Damn…..thanks for posting that.

  24. I want to be the person my Dog thinks I am. RIP and God speed JT.

  25. OWB says:

    Dang those allergies…

  26. Kath205 says:

    God Bless those who serve and My heart goes out to PO J.T.’s family and pet. Yes dogs are obvious in there love but let me just say this, Myy cat Samantha slept on one of my Fiancee’s ddirty shirts for a week after he deployed she missed him that much, she was not only depressed but it broke my heart to finally take the shirt from her and wash it. Not to discount the love of a dog at all but not all cats are heartless:)