FORT HOOD, Texas — Elizabeth Laird, known to so many in the community as the 'Hug Lady,' will have a ceremony in her honor, Fort Hood officials announced Wednesday afternoon.
The room where she gave out an estimated 500,000 hugs from 2003 until she died in 2015 will be named after her with a plaque dedication ceremony in the SSgt. George Larkin Terminal on Robert Gray Army Airfield at Fort Hood.
The decision to honor Laird was made after an online petition to name the Fort Hood air terminal after her. While Fort Hood couldn't rename the terminal after Laird because it is already dedicated to a World War II war hero, they will name the room where Laird gave out hugs in her honor.
Sgt. Chris Peckham, the man who started the petition, said he was happy to see Laird will be honored with the dedication.
"I appreciate everything she's done for everybody," Peckham said. "I'm glad her memory will be carried on in this room dedication."
He also said the dedication was the right thing to do after the love she showed to so many soldiers.
"I think it should mean the same thing as when she was alive," Peckham said. "You know, somebody is there caring for you when you leave and when you come back home to your family. I know a lot of people don't have family when they leave for places overseas."
The dedication is set for 10:30 a.m. on July 1.
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