NORFOLK, Va. — A recent Navy Exchange Service Command video about a deployed mother attracted the admiration of a long-time superhero after it went viral,.
So much so that Warner Brothers will send a Wonder Woman character to this Sunday’s homecoming of the aircraft carrier Harry S. Truman in Norfolk — wearing a cape and all.
But she won’t be Lynda Carter, the actress who played Wonder Woman in the hit 1970s television series and became one of the more than 750,000 people who have viewed the short film.
The clip, shared on Facebook, tells a heartwarming yarn of a father and son waiting at home for the mother, a Navy sailor, to return from an overseas deployment.
“ I am delighted with the response to the Navy’s production of this commercial," Carter told Navy Times. “It has gone viral outside the military and I’m so proud to be a small part of elevating the valor of women in uniform. I am sorry to not be there personally. Even my invisible plane won’t be able to bring me this time, but I truly wish everyone a wonderful, healthy and safe holiday.”
Without giving the story away — you really must see it yourself — a Wonder Woman toy plays a pivotal role in easing the child’s loneliness he encounters in the absence of his mother.
“So heartwarming!" Carter tweeted Dec. 7 after seeing the video. “Thinking of all those serving our country who can’t be with their families this holiday season.”
Noticing Carter’s comment, the Hollywood Reporter picked up on the video and circulated it to a wider audience.
“NEXCOM had no idea the video was going to be such a hit and pull at the heart strings of so many of our service members and their loved ones,” Courtney Williams, spokeswoman for the Navy Exchange Service Command in Virginia Beach, told Navy Times.
“The video went viral — all organically — so what better way to show support for our nation’s heroes than by bringing Wonder Woman to them in real life.”
The Navy Exchange, which operates stores around the globe, developed the idea for the video earlier this year. Officials contacted Warner Bros. to get permission to use popular toys that symbolize strength and resiliency as part of a message about military families navigating the separations that follow in the wake of overseas deployments.
With the success of the video, Warner Bros. has returned support to Navy Exchange by offering their support for the Truman Strike Group homecoming.
Coming to Norfolk will be the Wonder Woman character, but Lynda Carter won’t reprise her role in Virginia.
“Wonder Woman will be giving out some Warner Bros. goodies, signing autographs, taking photos,” Williams said. “But mainly, [she’s] there to support those loved ones while waiting on their service member to arrive.”
The carrier and three escorts are returning to Norfolk after a two-part, eight-month deployment.
Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story suggested that Lynda Carter would travel to Norfolk to welcome home the carrier strike group.
Mark D. Faram is a former reporter for Navy Times. He was a senior writer covering personnel, cultural and historical issues. A nine-year active duty Navy veteran, Faram served from 1978 to 1987 as a Navy Diver and photographer.