Fort Hood Community Gives A Big Hug Back to “Hug Lady”, Elizabeth Laird

Fort Hood Community Gives A Big Hug Back to “Hug Lady”, Elizabeth Laird

Fort Hood Community Gives A Big Hug Back to “Hug Lady”, Elizabeth Laird

With so much ridiculousness (and I am sure there is more to come), We thought this would be a good time to pause with a feel-good story from The Fort Hood community.

Elizabeth Laird (AKA “The Fort Hood Hug Lady”), 83 has been hugging American soldiers aboard Fort Hood as they shipped out to Iraq and Afghanistan for almost a decade. Rain or shine, Laird sent each one off with a hug as they left Killeen/Fort Hood Regional Airport. From Fox News:

“This is my way of thanking them for what they do for our country. I wasn’t hugging in 2003. I used to just shake their hands. But one day, a soldier hugged me, and that’s the way it started.”

Laird is currently hospitalized and is being treated for breast cancer that has spread to her bones. Laird’s son, Rick Dewees of Copperas Cove, set up a GoFundMe account in her name. The soldiers and families of Fort Hood have returned her embrace and the account has over $70,000 in donations to offset medical bills. The outpouring from the community has been heartfelt and some members are lobbying to give the new deployment center her name:

I loved your hug! It meant the world to me. Here’s a hug from Cleveland, Ohio-Jennifer Woods

Ms. Elizabeth, you gave us just an ounce of humanity before we spent the next year of our lives in a place that was tantamount to hell and devoid of humanity… The gift you gave us upon departure is immeasurable.-Ralph Salazar

Elizabeth is a true hero. My last deployment before retirement was Somalia. I sure could have used a hug from Elizabeth! I agree with everyone else…….name the deployment center after her if not the entire base!-Chuck & “Sam” DeMar

She made me and so many others smile before and after some horrible combat times. God Bless.-Robert Phipps

Thank you for all the hugs you’ve given my husband before and after all his deployments, most recently before he left this past Spring. The first email I always get from him letting me know he’s arrived safe and sound includes a picture with you! He will hopefully be coming home soon – and his homecoming will not be complete without a hug from the “Hug Lady”! I hope we can come visit you and repay your kindness and Patriotism with a hug! Sending you many positive thoughts for healing and comfort! –Carolyn Espinoza

Elizabeth Laird has been an inspiration to these families and their service members. Our prayers are with her and her family and we’re sending a big hug right back! God Bless you!

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