GOTHA, Fla. — Cindy Boyd spends much of her time supporting the brave men and women who serve in the military.

  • Cindy Boyd of Gotha sews quilts for troops
  • Soldiers are appreciative of her kindness, she says
  • She was recently honored by Defense Department
  • Read more Everyday Heroes here

"Thank God we have young men and young women who want to go serve this country and protect that freedom," says Boyd, who lives in Gotha in west Orange County.

Her nephew is one of them.

"And he'd say these soldiers have been here and this guy hasn't gotten a package since he got here," Boyd said.

So she started sending them care packages.

"At first it was sort of like I can't adopt the Army, but I did," Boyd said. "My record in a deployment for nine months is 400 to one unit. I knew almost every guy in that unit."

Boyd has no children, but she considers many servicemembers her own.

"I've spent a lot of time in the middle of the night on phone calls with guys," Boyd said.

Boyd often spends 40 to 50 hours a week sewing quilts, each for a servicemember overseas.

She remembers the reaction she got when she once got the chance to deliver dozens of them directly to troops.

"Those guys cried mostly when I gave them to them and thanked me and hugged me and were very appreciative," Boyd said.

Boyd recently got The Spirit of Hope Award at The Pentagon. It is an honor the Department of Defense awards to only six people in the country each year.  

However, Boyd says it's the personal connections she makes that mean the most.

"They're a blessing in my life, and I hope I'm a blessing in theirs, but I know they're a blessing in mine," Boyd said. "One person can make a difference."​​