December 24, 2015
KILLEEN (December 24, 2015) Fort Hood’s beloved “Hug Lady,” Elizabeth Laird, who hugged hundreds of thousands soldiers as they headed out on or returned from deployments, died on Christmas Eve at Metroplex Hospital in Killeen.
Laird, who would have turned 84 next month, vowed to greet every Fort Hood soldier who returned from deployment with a hug, battled breast cancer for 10 years.
The GoFundMe account, which had a goal of $10,000, generated nearly $95,000 from more than 3,000 people over the course of just one month.
Many were soldiers, such as the staff sergeant, who wrote, “I deployed three times and this nice woman greeted me each time. I looked forward to those hugs lol. Get well soon mama.”
But others were not, including a woman whose son didn’t come home.
“Thank you for hugging my son Matt,” she wrote.
“It is more than likely the last hug he got when he left Fort Hood because he didn't return from Afghanistan. Thank you again and please get well!”
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