If the measure of success in a lifetime is – how many people you’ve impacted – then Elizabeth ‘Hug Lady’ Laird has clearly won the Nobel Peace Prize of Human Kindness!
It’s estimated that over a span of twelve years she has hugged close to 500,000 troops. Every service member, whether coming home or leaving for war from Fort Hood, Texas knows exactly who the ‘Hug Lady’ is. They’ve come to know her and love her.
She will simply melt your heart – all with her magical hands and the power of a hug. Elizabeth Laird is the name on her birth certificate – but call her the ‘Hug Lady’. 🙂
“She has met almost every deployment and redeployment flight from Fort Hood to the Sand Box since the war started in 2003. She feels that her Family in Camo needs to know that some one here at home is interested and waiting for them to come home again,” says her son, Rick Dewees.
Now service members are returning that love with their own hugs at the Metroplex Hospital in Killeen, Texas.
The ‘Hug Lady’ has been battling breast cancer since 2005 – “after 10 years she has come to the point that the cancer is wearing her down,” said her son. Much of the almost $100,000 in donations from the gofundme page has been donated by service members.
“Got flights coming up,” she told one of her visitors while in the hospital. “Got to get out and hug you.” Her release from the hospital on November 20th, along with her passion and drive should keep those hugs coming to America’s finest for the foreseeable future – we pray!
The Next Leap Forward
It’s no wonder Elizabeth ‘Hug Lady’ Laird is a legend in the ranks of our military heroes. Our Service Members get it. They get the power of that hug and the bold intentions behind Elizabeth’s touch, grace, and gratitude – that is shown to each service member.
One comment that stood out to me was from Greg Zelmer, he said, “If Ft Hood doesn’t name the deployment center after her their wrong. Elizabeth Laird deployment center.”
What an impact. What a legacy. Think about it – most 83 year-olds would be so caught up with their own problems – that they’d barely notice the contribution of so many. Not the ‘Hug Lady’. She knew instinctively what each hug would provide – and she graciously gave of herself with no expectations of anything in return.
An incredible role-model for each of us.
The video will warm your heart and the comments below that – I’ve carefully selected from the many left on that gofundme page.
Greg Zelmer (below) has it right. Hey – III Corps and Fort Hood Garrison, you listening? “Elizabeth Laird Deployment Center.” Or whatever else with her name in it. Like his (Zelmer’s) comment and mine to keep this up at the top along with the marriage proposals. Blue Hansen
Soon as my divorce is final, I’m going to pop the question!! This woman is truly amazing… I pray she feels the love from her camo family and we are able to touch her soul with our outpouring of love and support. Jeffrey Keith Shepard
I love her, I deployed teary eyed and scared (secretly) worried my almost two year old daughter would forget me, she whispered in my ear that everything would be ok, it meant the world to me. I wish I had millions to give her. Claudia Vaneza Mohead
Deployment is never easy, but you helped us all smile when we met you there at the airport. That final goodbye hug from the sweetest woman has stuck with me over the years and I hope more than anything you’ll be better soon. Thank you for everything and I hope we can all help. Adam McCormick
The military should just give her all the benefits of an active service member. Glenn DV
I met the “Hug Lady”, Ms. Elizabeth, on I think her birthday (and my deloyment date) in 2009. I was scared to death to leave my 1.5 year old daughter, but she had a sense of calmness about her that calmed me. I’ve witnessed her hug thousands after I manifested them and they waited in line at the airfield. She has truly been a blessing to Soldiers and Families alike. We love her and will be praying for her! Sunshine Valentine
I have started a petition on Change.org to change the name of the deployment center. Please go there and sign it. I put the link here once, and it was removed. I guess you can’t post links here….. Jeffrey Wolf
This is one amazing women, she did not have to do what she has done for U.S. soldier but I was one of many who was blessed by her giving me my last hug before I left and the first one to hug me when I came home from deploying much respect for her and you are in my prayers May god be with you and your family!!!!! Jeffrey Bayless
God bless and keep you Elizabeth. When all is said and done we all hope that we will have made a difference in this world and in someone’s life. You have succeeded 500,000 times over. You are one of God’s Angels, thank you. Teresa O’Connor