I’m a sap when it comes to some things. Probably more than most. “America the Beautiful” is one. Same with excellent poems, great speeches by now-dead figures, the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution, some songs by John Prine, happy endings, and a lot of other things. I get emotional, tear up, and get that gaspy, hollow feeling in my gut.

Near the top of that list are two things I hold very dear and am exceptionally sensitive to – fallen veterans and dogs. With both – be it their loyalty, their dependability, their commitment to something bigger than themselves, and their willingness to sacrifice for others – we can find shining examples of characteristics we all should endeavor to possess. I am humbled by them both, and can find in them joy, security, and sorrow.

For this reason, when I found this story about Navy SEAL Jon Tumlinson and Hawkeye from TODAY, I cried like a baby.

Thank you, Jon, for your dedication and ultimate sacrifice. You live on in our liberty and memories.

Thank you, Hawkeye, for your loyalty and devotion. We share in your grief and wish you renewed happiness with your new master.

I will forever be amazed by the dedication of our veterans and of humankind’s best friend.

Should you feel compelled to do something, you can help out veterans and their families here (all of these are well-rated charities):
Fisher House Foundation
Navy SEAL Foundation
Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America
Homes for Our Troops

And you can help human’s best friends here (again, all are very well-rated charities):
Hearts United for Animals
Animal Friends
or your local humane society