A hug and a wave. It’s these little gestures that impacted so many people.

These two stories were reported in the news this past weekend.


The “Hug Lady” at Fort Hood passed away at 83 on Christmas Eve. Mrs. Elizabeth Laird, an Air Force veteran herself, gave over 500,000 hugs to troops being deployed or returning through the Killeen/Fort Hood Regional airport.

At first, she shook soldiers’ hands, but then one day, one of the troops gave her a hug in return … and so it began.

Elizabeth said that this was her way of thanking out troops ans she only missed a few weeks in a decade – when her daughter was sick with breast cancer.

Elizabeth said that when she gave a hug she received a smile as thanks.

GoFundMe account has been set up to help with Elizabeth’s medical bills and so far, over 3000 people have contributed.

Also, I saw on Facebook that there’s an online petition to rename Fort Hood’s Deployment Center to honor her.  That would be a lovely way to remember the Hug Lady’s kindness for a long time to come.


Reno’s “Waver” passed away in 2012, but his legacy of sharing a wave and a smile live on. This past weekend, Ed Carlson was honored during the 4th annual “Walk and Wave.”

Ed walked in Reno for over 30 years, waving to motorists as they drove by. It’s estimated that he walked about 225,000 miles (!) – the distance between the Earth and the moon.  And the entire time he greeted others with a wave.

Walk organizer, Steve Funk, said it best: ““It’s a great way to start off the new year, to just jump into 2016 with a smile and a wave and to share that with people. Hopefully it brings us a little closer to a better world.”


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