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'Ft. Hood Hug Lady' Gives Love to the Troops
WOAI ^ | 3/30/10 | Jim Forsyth

Posted on 03/30/2010 6:53:31 AM PDT by laotzu

A 78 year old financial planner in Killeen has a second job in which she receives...and gives...a lot of love.

Laird, who stands 4' 11" tall, is on hand when every deployment of soldiers leaves Ft. Hood to Iraq or Afghanistan, and is there when every plane load of soldiers returns.

She hugs every one of them, sometimes having to stand on her tip-toes to do it.

"I'm out there because I love our soldiers and I want to support them," she told 1200 WOAI news. "This is how I can make sure they know somebody supports them."

Laird, who is the widow of a U.S. Marine and was in the Air Force herself, says her goal is to bring smiles to the faces of the men and women who are about to go into harm's way because of their love for their country.

She says she has no idea how many she has sent off since she began the hugging back in 2003.

"Whether its one or a million, it doesn't matter to me," she told Bud. "I wish everybody in America could see what I have seen."

She says with multiple deployments out of Ft. Hood becoming the norm, now the soldiers start looking for her at Robert Grey Army Airfield or at airports in Killeen, Dallas, or Austin, wherever Ft. Hood soldiers leave or return from war.

"When they come home, they're looking for me, and they're glad I'm there to welcome them home."

Laird says she loves her unofficial role at the Ft. Hood Hug Lady, and she has no plans to retire.


TOPICS: Activism/Chapters; News/Current Events; US: Texas
KEYWORDS: deployment; forthood; huglady; pointofthespear; realamerica
How cool is this fine lady? Prayers of thanks.
1 posted on 03/30/2010 6:53:31 AM PDT by laotzu
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To: laotzu

God bless our finest men and women and god bless this wonderful lady.


2 posted on 03/30/2010 7:03:41 AM PDT by CSM (Keeper of the "Dave Ramsey Fan" ping list. FReepmail me if you want your beeber stuned.)
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To: laotzu

I know Ms Laird and she’s the crotchety but lovable lady from the neighborhood we all grew up with. She’s the lady who would yell at the kids to be careful around her flowers but would invite them over for cookies and she’s the lady with the bandaids for skinned knees and the bowl of candy at halloween.

God Bless her!


3 posted on 03/30/2010 7:05:43 AM PDT by Leofl (I'm from Texas, we don't dial 9-11)
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To: laotzu

That is so sweet of her.


4 posted on 03/30/2010 7:06:22 AM PDT by Soothesayer (The United States of America Rest in Peace November 4 2008)
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To: laotzu

Sometimes, all it takes is a simple gesture to provide inspiration to the men and women who serve this country.
Elizabeth Laird, a 77-year-old Salvation Army volunteer from Copperas Cove, Texas, has taken on a special mission: giving out a hug to deploying soldiers as they leave Fort Hood.
Laird has been saying farewell to soldiers since 2003 and has provided so many warm wishes that troops have nicknamed her the "hug lady."
Part of her promise to those who leave for combat is that she will be waiting to welcome them back upon their return. She also reads a letter to the soldiers and gives them a card containing Psalm 91—the Soldier's Psalm, according to the Killeen Daily Herald.
laotzu =Why did you only give her last name? God bless this sweet little old lady-she is boosting morale!
5 posted on 03/30/2010 7:16:27 AM PDT by cavador (Wash your Hands-Cover that sneeze!It helps stop the H1N1 Virus)
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To: laotzu

It’s folks like her and the volunteer greeters that continue to show up at Dallas/Ft. Worth (DFW) airport that make this country proud. My son has passed through the cordon at DFW several times, he said it will bring you to tears—and it did.


6 posted on 03/30/2010 7:17:26 AM PDT by brushcop (SFC Sallie, CPL Long, LTHarris, SSG Brown, PVT Simmons KIA OIF lll&V, they died for you, honor them)
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To: laotzu

Awwww. That’s great.


7 posted on 03/30/2010 7:18:54 AM PDT by thecodont
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To: laotzu

How sweet!


8 posted on 03/30/2010 7:19:18 AM PDT by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: laotzu

I hereby nominate for sainthood. Seconds?


9 posted on 03/30/2010 7:24:55 AM PDT by CrazyIvan (What's "My Struggle" in Kenyan?)
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To: laotzu

I think I heard a call for volunteers for this DFW airport detail on
radio station 820 AM WBAP our of Dallas within the last couple of days.

I’d step forward, but the commute from Mid-Missouri is just a bit
too much!

But for all the volunteers like this lady...SALUTE!


10 posted on 03/30/2010 7:34:50 AM PDT by VOA
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To: cavador


God bless this sweet little old lady-she is boosting morale!

(just my quirky way of looking at this...)
I guess I look at this in the “No Time For Sargeants” way.
I don’t see an old lady...but a real patriot given affirmation to
the volunteer patriots return from the toughest job they’ll ever do.


11 posted on 03/30/2010 7:37:45 AM PDT by VOA
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To: brushcop

...I think it’s great that someone is there for the troopers- redeployment can be a very lonely time...having said that, when I returned from Mogadishu I didn’t want anyone near me, let alone try and touch me- we landed at Campbell Army Airfield Christmas Day- I apparently walked right by my family-


12 posted on 03/30/2010 7:44:47 AM PDT by nicko (CW3 (ret.) CPT, you need to just unass the AO; I know what I'm doing- that goes for you too, Major)
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To: Soothesayer

“They also serve they who stand and wait’’. And hug. :-)


13 posted on 03/30/2010 9:18:29 AM PDT by John-Irish ("Shame of him who thinks of it''.)
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To: CrazyIvan

I second. So noted. The “Hug Lady’’ is now a Freeper saint.


14 posted on 03/30/2010 9:20:11 AM PDT by John-Irish ("Shame of him who thinks of it''.)
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To: brushcop
My son has passed through the cordon at DFW several times, he said it will bring you to tears—and it did.

I hope he was there one of the times my wife and I handed out  hundreds of pounds of coffee donated by the citizens of Trophy Club.

15 posted on 03/30/2010 9:30:50 AM PDT by zeugma (Waco taught me everything I needed to know about the character of the U.S. Government.)
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To: laotzu

That is so great.

I actually watched a PBS show about this type of thing. Seniors and what they do for the incoming and outgoing troops.

It was inspirational to say the least.

Thanks, great story.


16 posted on 03/30/2010 10:36:31 AM PDT by chichipow
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To: nicko; zeugma
when I returned from Mogadishu I didn’t want anyone near me, let alone try and touch me...

Your feelings are not the exception. I told my son to always remember that this sort of thing is from the heart and these are the "winter soldiers", no quitters, so regardless, be kind, considerate and grateful. He is.

I hope he was there one of the times my wife and I handed out hundreds of pounds of coffee donated by the citizens of Trophy Club.

YES! He spoke of coffee being given out on one of his returns, he always remembers those returns (and departures) with a grateful heart. And I thank you from the bottom of my heart for all of you involved in that, going on for YEARS now...

17 posted on 03/30/2010 11:14:17 AM PDT by brushcop (SFC Sallie, CPL Long, LTHarris, SSG Brown, PVT Simmons KIA OIF lll&V, they died for you, honor them)
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To: laotzu

wow....very sweet story. What a doll!


18 posted on 03/30/2010 11:59:16 AM PDT by gimme1ibertee ("In a time of universal deceit,telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act"-George Orwell)
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To: brushcop
The USOGirls work out of DFW.
Jamie and Carolyn talk about this lady all the time.
19 posted on 03/30/2010 8:15:57 PM PDT by concretebob (Because someone has to say it!!!!!!!!!)
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To: brushcop
YES! He spoke of coffee being given out on one of his returns, he always remembers those returns (and departures) with a grateful heart. And I thank you from the bottom of my heart for all of you involved in that, going on for YEARS now...

Excellent! We had the customers who donated the coffee write their own message on each pound. I enjoyed the heck out of handing it out, though it was somewhat hectic. What I find to be really impressive are the people who are there just about every day. I also ride with the Patriot Guard when I can. It's the least I can do, to stand for those who stood for us.

20 posted on 03/30/2010 9:11:26 PM PDT by zeugma (Waco taught me everything I needed to know about the character of the U.S. Government.)
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To: concretebob

Thank you for that link (USOGirls), I can’t say enough about the whole effort at DFW.


21 posted on 03/30/2010 9:44:17 PM PDT by brushcop (SFC Sallie, CPL Long, LTHarris, SSG Brown, PVT Simmons KIA OIF lll&V, they died for you, honor them)
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To: VOA
I’d step forward, but the commute from Mid-Missouri is just a bit too much!

While it's not DFW, I'd bet a lot of troops go through STL. Check with the local USO, they'll know when troops are moving through to/from Ft. Leonard Wood.

22 posted on 03/31/2010 5:49:50 PM PDT by El Gato ("The second amendment is the reset button of the US constitution"-Doug McKay)
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To: CrazyIvan
Before you start handing out medals, let us look at the rest of the story. Even though as a disabled Vet I wouldn't stop her from raising morale, maybe we should take a good hard look at the woman. When her husband, Ray, died two years ago, she was made executer of the estate. Betty arranged the schedule to suit her meeting the planes. Never mind that family came from all over the country. Everyone had to abide by her timetable. She stretched it over several days, delaying services with only an hours warning. Then while everyone was in the process of mourning, she would quickly end it, because she had to go meet a plane. I think that she shone her true colors, as when everyone was leaving the coffin at the grave site, she stopped everyone and had them sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to her. She told everyone at the reading of the will, that we would have to wait because Ray had left thirty thousand dollars in debt that had to be paid before we could get what he had wanted us to have. That sounded reasonable. Two years later and the bills still haven’t been paid. She lied to us, saying everything had ben taken care of, and to come get what little was left. After driving over twenty-one hundred miles, she told me that the lawyer had told her to sell everything at auction, and everything that he had left to me in the will was gone to pay the thirty thousand dollar bill. What has she been doing for the last two years, in exclusion of doing her duty as the Matriarch of the Laird clan? She has been meeting planes. She has no sense of what Honor is. She has no comprehension of what Family is. She is just another insecure person that constantly needs to be in the limelight, to have her Ego stroked. To be the official ‘Hug Lady’ of Fort Hood and never miss a plane. But it is good for the solders moral. Yes, let the Have Pencil, Will Travel business go under because she doesn’t have time to work. Make her family wait for years, waiting for closure of the death of their father. Duty, Honor, Country. These words have no meaning for her. I can’t complain, after all, I became disabled in the military so pinheads like this could screw it up for the rest of us.
23 posted on 06/02/2010 9:45:19 AM PDT by JustaVet
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