Navy Wife Kept Company By a Mannequin

ByABC News via logo
December 13, 2005, 8:32 AM

Dec. 13, 2005 — -- Suzy Walker found the love of her life in her husband, D.B. The only problem: He makes his living deep below the waves on a submarine.

So to help her endure the separation, Suzy Walker found a temporary companion -- a 40-pound mannequin who, with a mustache slapped on, looks just like her husband.

Today, "GMA" had a surprise for Suzy Walker: Her husband, now back on dry land in Jacksonville, Fla., called in during his wife's interview.

"I love you and I miss you. Looking forward to seeing you," said D.B. Walker Sr., chief on the USS West Virginia.

His wife, who could barely believe that "GMA" was not playing a horrible joke, was overwhelmed.

"Just to hear his happy voice means I can hang on a little longer," she said. "I just want to close my eyes and dream of him."

In the meantime, Walker takes the stand-in -- dressed as a sailor -- to the mall, out to dinner, and grocery shopping. She keeps a scrapbook of all her excursions with the mannequin to show D.B. later.

The reaction, she said, has been quite enthusiastic. Walker said her Georgia community was full of veterans and elderly people who understood what she was going through. It's been helpful, she said, especially considering that she and D.B. were just married last May and that she is originally from Rhode Island so she does not know many people in Georgia. Walker has two adult children from a previous marriage.

"I am meeting a lot of people, getting business cards," she said.

D.B. Walker's crew has also gotten a kick out of the lengths the lonely wife has gone to.

"It's hilarious. It's been a lot of entertainment for the crew and myself," he said.

Perhaps the separation will end up paying off after all. Suzy Walker said she and D.B. were married on May 5, 2005 and her flight to New York was number 505. She said her hotel room is 3505. Coincidence?

"Before I leave New York, I'm playing the numbers," she said.