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A Sailor’s Best Friend Redux: Sully H.W. Bush, Arriving!

29 July 2022

From Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Sasha Ambrose, USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) Public Affairs

NAVAL STATION NORFOLK - The crew of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) rounded out a month of relationship building and companionship with their canine companions with a visit from another special dog here, July 27.

Sully H.W. Bush, the yellow Lab who was former President George H.W. Bush’s service dog, joined the Avenger crew as they prepare for an upcoming, scheduled deployment while wearing his new rank of Chief Petty Officer. After serving President Bush at the end of his life, Sully became one of seven dogs currently serving within the Facility Dog Program at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC). Each dog in the program completes training with an accredited outside organization before they complete additional training at WRNMMC to become ‘inducted’ through an enlistment or commissioning ceremony into the program by which comes with a rank, service, and uniform for each dog. Sully H.W. Bush completed his training with America’s VetDogs before landing at WRNMMC, fulfilling one of President Bush’s final wishes that his canine companion would continue serving other veterans.

Sully’s visit coincided with the last of a month-long, Wednesday tradition of volunteers and dogs from Mutts With A Mission, Crisis Response Canines, and the USO of Hampton Roads and Central Virginia visiting the ship’s crew to increase morale, joy, connectedness, and toughness while decreasing stress for Sailors as the ship wraps up preparations for deployment.


As luck would have it, Sully H.W. Bush not only met the crew, but he also met with a young yellow Lab named after him who is in the process of becoming a service dog himself. The Sully-to-Sully connection took place after Mutts With A Mission founder Brooke Corson announced the younger Sully’s name along with six other golden Labs the organization and volunteer puppy raisers are training to become service dogs. The George H.W. Bush and its crew inspired the names of the puppies named Avenger, CAVU, Pearl, Crew, Sailor, Liberty, and Sully.

The naming of the pups in training and Sully’s visit to the ship were a fitting way to close out the weekly visits throughout July that developed bonds between Sailors and the dogs and the organizations raising them, reduced stress, and strengthened the connections between shipmates.

“It would be difficult to write a better script than having Sully here on the same day as the puppies named after our crew from Mutts With A Mission,” said Lt. Sarah Faber, the ship’s assistant air operations officer who lead coordination for the event. “It’s great to see the relationships that Sailors have developed with the dogs, and with each other through these visits. It’s been a team effort from everyone involved and I know a lot of us are looking forward to seeing the puppies grow through the pictures and updates Mutts With A Mission will share with our crew.”

George H.W. Bush provides the national command authority flexible, tailorable warfighting capability as the flagship of the George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group which maintains maritime stability and security to ensure access, deter aggression and defend U.S., allied and partner interests. For more information about the ship you can visit its Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, or official webpage. For more information about the George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group you can visit its official website, Facebook, or LinkedIn page.

 

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