FORT HOOD, Texas (FOX 7 Austin) - A petition to rename the Fort Hood air terminal after the 'Hug Lady' is circulating online. Over 85,000 people have already signed the appeal. According to the petition, it's only right that the building she's seen so many soldiers deploy and come home in is named after her.
'The Hug Lady', or Elizabeth Corrine Laird, died on Christmas Eve 2015. She was known for attending almost every Fort Hood deployment from 2003 until her death. It’s estimated she hugged 500,000 soldiers, according to the Killeen Daily Herald.
Criss Dougherty, from Nolanville, Texas, signed the petition and left a heartwarming note: “I was so selfish as a young soldier... I was so selfish. I thought ‘why do I have to hug her.’ As I deployed more, she was so vital to my mental health. I signed this, and I have spoken to many who believe that (r)egardless of who the terminal is currently named after, it’s only fitting it be named after Mrs. Laird!”
Ivan Martinez added: “I was one of the thousands of soldiers hugged on their way to (an uncertain) fate. Her hug did more for me than you could imagine. On the way back her hug signifies an end to a long watch. She deserves it more than I could ever express.”
The petition was started by Christopher Peckham of Savannah, Georgia.