Former President George H.W. Bush’s service dog made headlines a when President Bush passed last year. Once again Sully is in the news with his new job at the U.S. Navy at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center outside Washington.
Sully’s new appointment is the rank of hospital corpsman second class. Sully’s swearing in;
“Your appointment as a petty officer in the United States Navy makes you heir to a long and proud tradition of naval leadership,” said a Navy spokesman at the Bethesda, Maryland, ceremony. The dog then was outfitted with a new “military uniform” — a service dog vest representing the medical center’s dog team.
“Do you affirm or pant as a hospital corpsman in the United States Navy that you will support, comfort and cure warriors and their families, active duty and retired? That you embrace our staff and bear unconditional love and solace, especially on busy days? That you take this obligation freely, without any promise of treats or tummy rubs and that you will faithfully discharge the duties to provide joy, love and nurturing for our soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and sailors and their families?”
Sully joins the medical center’s facility emotional support animal dog program. His duties will include reducing stress and increasing well-being among patients and staff. Sully captured hearts last year after a photo went viral of Sully resting near President Bush’s casket at the US Capitol.
Trained by America’s VetDogs — a nonprofit organization that trains service dogs for disabled military veterans and first responders — to be a service dog, therapy dog and guide dog, Sully is capable of doing a number of tasks, from answering phones to turning lights on and off.
“Not only is he good at retrieving things, he helped the President by opening doors, knew when to get assistance from someone else, and knew when Bush needed comfort, so he would place his head on his lap,” Hibbard said.
The service dogs at Walter Reed collectively work over 200 hours per month and average 2,500 contacts, according to a spokesperson for for the facility.