Rockford, Iowa – Perhaps the most touching tribute of loyalty and love resonated throughout the nation as Hawkeye, the Labrador retriever laid beneath his owner’s casket on August 19. Yesterday, Iowa’s athletic department announced Jon Tomlinson would be honored at a home game in November, and Hawkeye would be part of the expected very emotional tribute.
Tomlinson was one of thirty-eight American soldiers in Afghanistan to die on August 6 when their helicopter was shot down.
Hawkeye, who Tomlinson referred to as “his son” would not leave the funeral as 1500 friends and family showed up to pay tribute to a very special man. When Hawkeye’s photo showing him just lying by his downed hero and companion spread through the Internet, even the most stoic viewer could feel the Labrador’s deep emotional pain.
The university will work with the family and decide how to incorporate Hawkeye into the Veteran’s Day celebration.
Tomlinson joined the Navy in 1995 and became a Navy SEAL. He was always an avid football and wrestling fan.
After the funeral Hawkeye returned to the family home, he immediately went to their son’s bedroom.
Hawkeye is staying with Tomlinson’s friends in Texas.