Feb 25, 2016

Elizabeth Laird, known as the “Hug Lady,” gave out more than 500,000 hugs before she died at the age of 83 after a long battle with breast cancer.  

Laird was the heart of Fort Hood for years, where she would greet soldiers leaving for deployments and returning home. Soldiers showed their love and appreciation for her during her battle with breast cancer by visiting her in the hospital to give her a hug of their own.

She was an Air Force veteran from Copperas Cove, Texas, who started out giving handshakes while volunteering for the Salvation Army at Fort Hood in 2003. She then changed the movement to hugs. Many soldiers can recall the exact day when they received a hug from her and still have the Psalm 91 card she would hand each one of them before deployment.

Sadly, many soldiers don’t return home from deployment, leaving their families without a loved one to hug. On March 4th, Hug a GI Day, Children of Fallen Patriots is honoring Gold Star military children who don’t have a parent to hug anymore.

They say a hug is a handshake from the heart. Join Fallen Patriots and continue the tradition of the “Hug Lady,” by sending a “virtual hug” to Gold Star children. Fallen Patriots is aiming to reach donations, or “virtual hugs” from 100 different donors. By using Text to donate, donations can be made by simply texting “College” to 31996.

Hug a GI Day is a time for every citizen to remember GI members for their invaluable act of bravery in protecting and serving our country.