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UI to honor Tumilson, all fallen public servants at home football game

This news story was published on September 2, 2011.
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IOWA CITY, Iowa ñ The University of Iowa will salute all who have fallen during service to their country, state and community ñ including U.S. Navy SEAL Jon Tumilson ñ at one of the Iowa football team’s two home games in November.

The nation will celebrate Veteran’s Day on Friday, Nov. 11. The Hawkeyes play home football games on Nov. 5 and Nov. 12.

A 35-year old native of Rockford, Iowa, Tumilson was one of 30 American soldiers killed in Afghanistan on Aug. 6. Tumilson’s personal sacrifice became even more poignant when his pet Labrador retriever, “Hawkeye,” lay next to his casket and remained there for the majority of Tumilson’s funeral service.

“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. 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,” said Gary Barta, the UI’s director of athletics.

Barta noted the decision to not do something at Saturday’s first home game of the season was deliberate.

“We wanted to be respectful of Jon’s family and friends and others who are still grieving. Also, as a fan of the Hawkeyes and the UI football program, I’m certain Jon would expect a solid game plan, one that is thoughtful and thorough and respectful, and well-executed on game day,” he said.

The UI will work with the Tumilson family to determine exactly what role “Hawkeye” may play on game day. |

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