Some of the most iconic photos of the late President George H.W. Bush’s memorial service were images of his faithful service dog laying in front of his casket.
Now Sully, named after the heroic Capt. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger who safely landed a large passenger jet on the Hudson River, has a new role. He’s officially been sworn into the U.S. Navy.
According to WGN9, Sully joined the Navy during an official ceremony at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center just outside Washington, D.C. His new job will involve working in the hospital to comfort the men and women who have been injured in service to our country.
“Your appointment as a petty officer in the United States Navy makes you heir to a long and proud tradition of naval leadership,” a Navy spokeswoman declared.
In front of a crowd of people and dogs, an oath giver asked Sully, “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?” he added.
Sully will join a number of other dogs in working with more than 2,500 patients and staff members to help them reduce stress and feel better, according to NBC affiliate WBAL.
Sully sat solemnly during the ceremony and shook hands with a Naval officer as the crowd clapped for him.
“Congratulations, Sully, and welcome,” the announcer said as another Naval officer strapped an official vest on the dog.
Sully was originally assigned to Bush because of his ability to be “super adaptable,” the Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind/America’s VetDogs’ Brad Hibbard explained.
“We immediately thought of Sully,” he said last year. “We knew he was the right dog for the job, especially with Mr. Bush being older and in a wheelchair. He needed a dog that would also help him with daily tasks.”
“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,” he continued.
Sully, thank you for your service!