By Brooke Singman
Published November 13, 2015
Elizabeth Laird, now 83, is beloved by all the men and women who were deployed out of the Texas military base because rain or shine, she never failed to send each one off with a hug as they left Killeen/Fort Hood Regional Airport.
“This is my way of thanking them for what they do for our country," Laird told FoxNews.com Thursday from her hospital bed in Copperas Cove, Texas, where she is being treated for breast cancer that has spread to her bones. “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.”
Now, the soldiers who felt Laird's kindness are rallying to her side, with a GoFundMe page that has raised nearly $70,000 toward Laird's medical bills.
Laird's son, Vietnam veteran and former U.S. Marine Richard Dewees, set up the crowdfunding page Monday evening to help pay her medical expenses and ease the financial toll of life in an assisted-living facility. The initial goal of $10,000 was quickly surpassed, with much of the money flowing in from veterans touched by their encounters with Laird as they left the U.S., never knowing if they would come home.Elizabeth Laird mentions a card she hands out with Psalm 91 "from a group out of Florida" and that group is OperationSafety91
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