Norfolk Navy commander's Mother's Day video goes viral

by Mike Hixenbaugh
The Virginian-Pilot

NORFOLK, Va. (Tribune News Service) — It's a clear Mother's Day marketing ploy, designed to sell flowers: A staged reunion. Dramatic music. A man in uniform. A sappy story.

Watch it, though, and try not to cry.

There's something universal about the story Cmdr. Ryan Breed tells during the Teleflora commercial posted online last week. An accomplished Navy pilot, raised by a single mom, taking time to tell her thank you.

The four-minute Internet spot has been watched by millions, prompting confessions from cynical viewers:

"Dang, I picked a fine time to be peeling onions!" wrote one.

Breed, who's stationed at Norfolk Naval Station, has been stunned by the response. He applied for the chance to make the video, thinking it would be a nice way to show his mom he loves her.

In the commercial, a delivery woman knocks on a door in Moreno Valley, Calif., and hands a tablet to the woman who answers, Cindy. A video of Breed, her son, begins playing.

He thanks her for all the sacrifices she made to raise him on her own, including giving up a shot at playing field hockey professionally.

"You knew you couldn't do both, and you gave it up to raise me," Breed says in the recorded interview. Tears form in his mother's eyes as she watches.

"And you instilled in me that sacrifice and that dedication and you gave me everything that you had. I realize how hard it was, and I thank you."

Breed, 37, tells of his demanding schedule in recent years with the Navy, and expresses remorse that they hadn't seen each other in almost two years. He tells of his new job -- he'll soon become executive officer of a C-40 Clipper squadron at Oceana Naval Air Station -- and his fear that it will be even harder to see each other in the future.

"Above all else," he says, "I hope when you look at me, you see the good man that you wanted your little boy to be. I'm proud to call you my mother."

After the video ends, Breed appears from around a corner. His mother, with tears streaking down her cheeks, runs toward him in slow motion.

More than 9 million people have viewed the commercial on YouTube, including many of Breed's fellow aviators.

Some have teased him for some of the footage: Breed was filmed running out on a California beach around dusk. The staged workout scene includes some Rocky Balboa-style air punches.

So, there's been some teasing. Breed expected that.

"But," he said in an interview Friday, "among all those full-grown men, most have admitted that it brought tears to their eyes."

Who hasn't missed mom?

(c) 2015 The Virginian-Pilot. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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