Know Your Military

Bush Service Dog Takes Oath As Hospital Corpsman

Feb. 28, 2019 | BY Terri Moon Cronk

President George H.W. Bush’s former service dog has reported for duty at his new home at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md.

A man speaks to audience.
190227-N-AM903-1055
Evan Sisley, personal aide and senior medic to former President George H.W. Bush, speaks during the Sully H.W. Bush welcome-aboard celebration held at the USO Warrior and Family Center in Bethesda, Md., Feb. 27, 2019. Sully is now assigned as a service dog at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
Photo By: Petty Officer 3rd Class Julio Martinez Martinez
VIRIN: 190227-N-AM903-1055

Sully is a Labrador retriever trained to work with persons with disabilities. He was named after U.S. Airways pilot Chesley B. "Sully" Sullenberger III, who safely landed a jet on the Hudson River in 2009.

Sully was the guest for a welcome-aboard ceremony at Walter Reed’s USO building. He was sworn in as a Navy hospital corpsman, second class, and offered his paw for a shake when congratulated.

A man kneels to appoint a service dog as honorary hospital corpsman.
Honorary Corpsman
Navy Capt. Mark Kobelja, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center director, appoints service dog Sully H.W. Bush to the honorary rank of hospital corpsman 2nd class during his welcome-aboard ceremony at the USO Warrior and Family Center in Bethesda, Md., Feb. 27, 2019.
Photo By: Petty Officer 3rd Class Julio Martinez Martinez
VIRIN: 190227-N-AM903-1043

He was called “a true patriot” during the ceremony.

The yellow lab joins six other service dogs at the medical center, where they will see inpatients and outpatients, averaging about 2,500 visits a month. Each visit lasts about an hour.

Three people pose for a photo around a white dog.
Group Photo
Navy Capt. Mary Seymour, center, Naval Support Activity Bethesda commander, poses for a photo alongside Elaine Rogers, president and chief executive officer of USO-Metro, left, Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Samantha Murdock, right, and Sully H.W. Bush, new Walter Reed National Military Medical Center facility service dog, Feb. 27, 2019.
Photo By: Petty Officer 3rd Class Julio Martinez Martinez
VIRIN: 190227-N-AM903-1014

When Bush passed away at age 94 in November, it was the family’s wish that Sully go to Walter Reed and work as a service dog for disabled individuals.

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