A mother and son who had an emotional reunion last year at Defiance Elementary School are featured this month on a Chevy commercial "Military Appreciation Month - Real Reunions."
On Jan. 24, 2013, in Melissa Schwarzman's third-grade classroom, U.S. Navy hospital corpsman Kendra Lichtle surprised her son, Dylan Woods, by returning home early after nearly seven months on a military tour in Afghanistan.
The school helped plan for the special visit by asking Woods to stand in front of the class to lead the group in a game.
The commercial shows Lichtle as she walked into the classroom and Woods yells: "Mom!" Then the two embrace.
It premiered May 3 on FOX and FS1 cable TV during the St. Louis Cardinals vs. Chicago Cubs and Detroit Tigers vs. Kansas City Royals Major League Baseball games. On May 4, it appeared on NBC during the "Meet the Press" broadcast and also during the NASCAR Talladega 500 race on FOX. On May 5, it began a rotation on prime, early morning and cable TV.
During Lichtle's deployment in Afghanistan, Woods stayed in Defiance with his mom's sister, Becky Martinez, and her husband, Lee.
The Crescent-News sent reporters Taryn Lawson to write a story and Bethany Rayle to film the event. Website editor Mark Froelich edited the original video.
Lichtle is currently stationed in Virginia and Woods is a fourth-grader at a school there.
The 30-second commercial features four other military reunions. It can be viewed on the "Video" category at crescent-news.com.
The original full video is located on The Crescent-News' website -- crescent-news.com -- at http://bit.ly/1kO7yQr.