83-Year-Old Woman in Texas Has Hugged Over Half-a-Million Troops
If you know someone in the Armed Forces who's been to Iraq or Afghanistan, they probably know who 83-year-old Elizabeth Laird is. But they might only know her as the "Hug Lady." For the past 11 years, Elizabeth has gone to Fort Hood in Texas every time troops were shipping out or coming home so that she could hug every single one of them. Even if their plane landed at two in the morning.
It started in June 2003, when she was there as a volunteer for the Salvation Army, and a random soldier gave her a hug before he left. That's when she started hugging as many soldiers as possible, so she could thank them and wish them luck. Since then, she's hugged over 500,000 troops.
For a lot of them, she's been the last person they hugged before they left and the first person they hugged when they got home. Earlier this month, the Army surprised Elizabeth by giving her an award for it. She accepted, but added that the only people who really deserve recognition are the troops.