SWO (SEAL/West Coast) PO2 Nicholas P. Spehar, 24, of Saint Paul, MN
Navy SEAL’s loyal dog prompts ‘NCIS’ episode
The Associated Press
DES MOINES, Iowa — The legend of Navy SEAL Jon Tumilson and his faithful Labrador retriever, Hawkeye, continues to grow.
A now-famous photograph of Hawkeye guarding Tumilson’s flag-draped coffin in 2011 inspired this week’s episode of the hit CBS television series “NCIS,” according to one of its executive producers.
“It all started with a photograph,” co-executive producer Scott Williams wrote on the show’s blog. The inspired result: Tuesday’s episode, “Seek,” the night’s top-rated show. “It served as yet another stark reminder of the sacrifices made by our military men and women and their families (pets included),” Williams wrote. “It also set the wheels in motion for the (March 19) episode.”
“J.T. was going to be a Navy SEAL come hell or high water,” friend Scott Nichols said of Tumilson and he cherished black Lab, Hawkeye, led Tumilson’s family into the funeral. What happened next resulted in a photo that became an Internet sensation. When Hawkeye’s new owner, close family friend Scott Nichols, went to the front to speak, Hawkeye came with him. The dog soon walked to Tumilson’s flag-draped coffin, dropped to the floor, and stayed there, as if on guard. Tumilson’s cousin, Lisa Pembleton, captured the moment on behalf of 1,500 mourners at Rudd-Rockford-Marble Rock gym in Rockford. The image prompted people around the world to comment on its depiction of faithfulness, companionship, bravery and duty. Now, “NCIS,” which follows special agents of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, has joined the legions inspired by the photo.
This week’s episode opened with a soldier and a mine-sniffing dog in Afghanistan who watch as a boy’s soccer ball rolls onto a live mine, which explodes. Just after the soldier and dog lead the boy to safety, a sniper shoots the soldier. The dog lies at the side of his fallen master. Later, the lead character, special agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs, says of the episode’s canine star, Dexter, “He’s not a dog. He’s a Marine.”
Many of the nearly 1,000 people who had commented on the producer’s blog post by Friday evening said the show, which incorporates a scene reminiscent of Tumilson’s funeral, brought them to tears. The episode was dedicated to “military working dogs and their brave handlers everywhere,” Williams wrote. The show won the ratings competition in its time slot, pulling in 19.8 million viewers, more than twice the No. 2 program, “Splash,” on ABC, and more than any prime-time show that night, according to the Nielsen Co. ratings. Tumilson’s family hopes veteran actor Mark Harmon, who plays Gibbs, and others in the “NCIS” cast will help dedicate a statue of Tumilson and Hawkeye at Fossil and Prairie Park in Rockford this summer.
“We will be unveiling a life-size bronze statue of Jon and Hawkeye this summer in his hometown, and would like to personally invite Mark, and any of your cast members, to come and celebrate that special event with us,” Tumilson’s brother-in-law, Scott McMeekan, wrote on the “NCIS” blog. Neither members of Tumilson’s family nor representatives of CBS could be reached for comment.
FYI: Just for the record. Let's suffice it to say the whole dog didn't exactly happen that way. I bet JT is still laughing at the media and Hollywood at that one. Good dog, Hawkeye! Goooood dog.
EOD (EWS/Freefall Parachutist/Diver) CPO Nicholas H. Null, 30, Washington, WV
The Nick Null Memorial Foundation was started by Nick’s Mother Tracy, to honor and celebrate the life of Fallen Soldier Nicholas Heath Null. Chief Null is our hometown hero! The Foundation was founded by Tracy (Null) Kendall Litman, Nick’s Mother. Our goal is to raise funds to continue to honor Nick, our Son, Brother, Husband, Father, Soldier… our HERO and all of the brave soldiers from the Mid-Ohio Valley who lost their lives fighting for our country. These brave men and women joined the military, trained and took an oath to protect and serve our country, knowing that at anytime they could be called to duty. American soldiers serve our country proudly and without question and as their fellow Americans we must support them and never let them be forgotten. They will forever be OUR HEROES – AMERICA’S HEROES.
The Nick Null Memorial Foundation is building a bronze “Fallen Solder” statue as memorial honoring Chief Null. There will be a large bronze plaque with the names of all the Warriors that lost their lives with Chief Null that tragic day 8/6/11. The names of the Fallen Soldiers from the Mid-Ohio Valley will also be inscribed on the Memorial Wall. The memorial will be located at the Parkersburg City Park to honor those heroes who paid the ultimate price for our freedom. We do not want the sacrifice they made to ever be forgotten.
May God Bless You and May God Bless America!
Very truly yours,
Tracy (Null) Kendall Litman, Nicks Mother
President of The Nick Null Memorial Foundation
SOC (DEVGRU/ESWS) CPO Jon Thomas "JT" Tumilson, 35, Rockford, IA
Information Systems Tech (EWS/Freefall Parachutist) PO1 Jarod Day, 28 Taylorsville, UT
Jared William Day "Our Hero" We have lost our son, brother, friend, and hero. Jared William Day was killed in action in Afghanistan on August 6, 2011. He died alongside his friends, some of the bravest men this world has ever known.Jared was born August 12, 1982 in Salt Lake City, Utah. He graduated from Cottonwood High School in 2001. In 2002, Jared joined the United States Navy because he loved this country, the people who live here, and the freedoms we all have. Upon enlisting, Jared successfully and honorably served in various commands and task forces in support of the Global War on Terrorism. This culminated with him making the ultimate sacrifice while deployed to Afghanistan. Jared's skill and expertise led to his selection as a Tactical Communicator to an elite group. He was truly special, not only to our family, but to this country. Jared is survived by his father Sam William Day; his mother Karolyn Keno Day; his sister Geri Marie Day; and many aunts, uncles, and cousins. Jared is preceded in death by his grandparents Franklin and Geraldine Kimball; Jack Eldon Day, August and Merl Pearson. Funeral Services will be held on Monday, August 22nd at Lake Hills Mortuary on 10055 South State Street. Visitation will be from 9 a.m. to 11:45 a.m., with the funeral beginning at 12 p.m. Military honors to follow. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the IT1 Jared Day Memorial Fund, Navy Federal Credit Union. We are so thankful to our family and friends for their support. We would like to give a special thank you to the United States Navy. Their support has been so comforting. We also want to thank the Patriot Guard, Unified Police Department, and all other supporting parties. Jared was incredibly quick-witted with an infectious smile; and he lit up the room whenever he walked in. We know he is now playing fetch with his beloved dog, Sebastian and watching over us from above. "We don't say goodbye."
Published in Salt Lake Tribune from Aug. 19 to Aug. 21, 2011
As a member of the elite Seal Team Six, Workman was one of the best trained and most accomplished members of the U.S. Armed Services. Workman is a 1997 graduate of San Juan High School, where he excelled in sports and academics. An accomplished athlete, Workman was a leader for the Broncos on the football field, basketball court and baseball field. He earned a host of All-State awards. Workman served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Brazil and Pennsylvania. He earned a bachelors degree in criminal justice from Southern Utah University. After graduating from SUU, Workman joined the United States Navy with the intention of becoming a Navy Seal. He served in the Navy as a Seal for the past eight years, including several years as a member of the elite Seal Team Six. In 2012, Jason was honored in the Movie "Act of Valor" for making the ultimate sacrifice to his country. In the above video Jason Workman's children honor him with song - get some tissues.
SOC (DEVGRU) CPO Jason Ray Workman, 32, Blanding, UT
"I do it for you," this was the answer Nick gave a family member when they asked, "Why are you a SEAL?" The 2005 graduate of Chicago Lakes High School was a "quiet leader," a star in academics and three sports during his time at the school along Minnesota's eastern border, said Principal Dave Ertl. "Nick was an active young man, and if he said he was going to do something, he did it," Ertl said. "He gave 100 percent in high school, and he gave 100 percent to our country. I could see him as a Navy SEAL and giving 110 percent to serve his country."
In Nick's honor, Holy Cross College has set up the Nicholas Spehar Memorial Scholarship for siblings, spouses or children of military personnel who died in the line of duty. The scholarship is open to all branches of the military, but special consideration is given towards families of Navy SEALS.
The famous photograph of Jon Tumilson's Golden Retriever "Hawkeye" guarding his owner's flag-draped coffin in 2011 inspired an episode of the hit CBS television series "NCIS," according to the executive producers.
"It all started with a photograph," co-executive producer Scott Williams wrote on the show's blog. The inspired result: Tuesday's episode, "Seek," the night's top-rated show. "It served as yet another stark reminder of the sacrifices made by our military men and women and their families (pets included)," Williams wrote. "It also set the wheels in motion for the (March 19) episode.The country was gripped Jon Tumilson
A neighbor, Mark Biggs, said "People were shocked by his death. You just never thought it would happen to Jon," Friend Justin Schriever remembered "He's done so many dangerous things. He'd always go the extra mile on everything. He wouldn't let anything stop him from accomplishing something."