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Fallen Navy SEAL's Dog May Honor Veterans with Iowa Hawkeyes

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Hawkeye’s work is not yet done.

The heartbreaking image of a black Labrador retriever lying next to his owner’s coffin captivated the public last week. It spoke of grief, loyalty and the deep bonds between a man and his dog. The dog, Hawkeye, has since gone to live with a friend of his departed owner, Petty Officer Jon Tumilson, who died along with 30 other American soldiers in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan in early August.

In a few months, Hawkeye may return to the spotlight, this time on the football field. The University of Iowa, whose Hawkeyes are the dog’s namesake, will honor Tumilson and other veterans in a home game close to Veteran’s Day, which falls this year on Nov. 11.

The idea to honor Tumilson and include Hawkeye in the process came from outside the Tumilson family, but they are aware of the University of Iowa’s plan to recognize him. What role Hawkeye will play has yet to be determined.

“Jon’s death is a tragedy that reminds us of the great personal sacrifice made by many who serve our country, our state and our community,” the University of Iowa’s director of athletics Gary Barta said in a release. “We are very pleased that Jon’s family has agreed to allow us to honor Jon and all citizens lost while serving others later this fall.”

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