A hug is meant for everyone. The positive exchange of energy between two or more people has amazing healing qualities. A hug is a way to share both good and bad times with others, it can create a connection that one cannot express in words. Elizabeth Laird has given out a lot of hugs to soldiers—she estimates about half a million. But now that she’s in the hospital battling breast cancer, soldiers are returning the love.
Laird has become a well-known fixture around Fort Hood as the “hug lady” because of her determination to hug every single service member leaving or coming back since the Iraq War started in 2003. She’s become a part of the ritual of leaving and coming home, and soldiers look forward to her warm greetings.
Staff Sgt. Kenneth Fiaoni explained to a local news station, “Every time we came back, we were like, ‘Hey we’re going to see the hug lady today,’” Fiaoni said.
The Air Force veteran, said that she hopes her hugs serve as a source of comfort for the troops. “I want them to know that God will take care of them, but they have to ask him,” she said.
The 83-year-old was diagnosed with breast cancer a decade ago. But now, it has metastasized to her bones and lungs, sending her to the hospital. The brave vet has chosen to forgo radiation treatments and chemotherapy in favor of prayer. In the hospital, Laird is the one who could use some hugs. So soldiers are helping out by visiting her and offering some much-needed love.
Elizabeth Laird, thank you for serving our country!
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