George H.W. Bush's Beloved Dog Begins New Mission Helping Wounded Veterans

Sully, President George H.W. Bush's service animal, waits with his handler at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, Dec. 03, 2018. Military and civilian personnel assigned to Joint Task Force-National Capital Region provided ceremonial and civil affairs support during President George H.W. Bush's state funeral. (DoD photo by U.S. Army Pfc. Katelyn Strange)

Yesterday, Sully H. W. Bush, the beloved service dog who was the companion of former President George H. W. Bush during the last six months of his life, began a new mission serving the veterans recuperating at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.


Sully is a yellow labrador who got his name from the hero pilot Chesley Sullenburger who had successfully made the emergency landing of a commercial U.S. Airways flight on the Hudson River in New York. He was selected to become Bush’s service dog after completing a training program at Walter Reed. Bush referred to Sully as his “best friend” and the dog was a great comfort to him after losing his wife Barbara in April 2018.

After Bush passed away in December of last year, a photo of Sully keeping watch over the president’s casket went viral, exhibiting the traits of loyal and love that make pets so special to so many American families.

Mission complete.

A post shared by Sully H.W. Bush (@sullyhwbush) on

During his years after leaving the White House, Bush, a World War II combat veteran himself, frequently took time to support military and veterans’ charities, and Sully will continue that legacy in his new role at Walter Reed.


In Sully’s new role with the Facility Dog Program, he will help comfort and relieve stress for patients, visitors, and staff, as well as participate in therapies for the wounded veterans.

Sully was officially sworn into his new role in a special ceremony yesterday, where he was given a new uniform and promoted to the rank of Hospital Corpsman Second Class in the Navy. He even had a personalized oath:

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?

God bless our military and good dogs everywhere.

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