NFA, Class of 2001.
MARINE GYSGT LUIS A. MERCADO JR.
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W e l c o m e
Posted May. 22, 2017
New Windsor mom, Luz Mercado, started the foundation, ÒSupport Our Heroes, when her son Marine GYSGT Luis Mercado Jr. was stationed in Iraq and started to share items from packages his mom sent him to fellow soldiers who told him of some of the simple pleasures they were missing from home.
Lucy Mercado, New Windsor, is preparing to ship items to military service members as part of her foundation, Support Our Heroes. She supports three platoons in Afghanistan.
By DEBORAH MEDENBACH
Posted: December 21, 2009 - 2:00 AM
NEW WINDSOR - Lucy Mercado is not about to break promises to God. When her son, Marine Sgt. Luis Mercado Jr., was deployed to Iraq in 2004, Lucy pledged that if he was returned to her healthy and strong, she would continue to send supply boxes to the troops in his platoon until all of the soldiers could come home.
Her son did return home safely and is now continuing his military service in Japan. Lucy kept her promise, but it's pricey. She formed a charitable foundation, Support our Heroes, in 2004 to be able to accept donations of supplies and funds for postage. She can't even begin to count the weekly supply boxes she's sent out since she began. She adopted two platoons and was recently asked by three others if she could help them out.
"How do you say no when they've asked for help?" Lucy asks. "The PX doesn't keep up with what the soldiers need."
The military provides meals and water, but troops were often short on toiletries and snacks.
The first year of sending supply boxes in 2004 cost her about $1,000. Last year, she spent $3,000 in postage alone to get boxes out to two platoons. This Christmas, with five platoons and more than 400 soldiers to buy for, the cost for postage alone will be astronomical.
She's had help getting the supplies the soldiers will need. Chris Eachus, a teacher at Newburgh Free Academy, brought 30 boxes of donated goods to her at Thanksgiving time. The only remaining items needed are antibacterial wipes, batteries, energy drinks, energy bars and snacks.
The U.S. Postal Service has priority boxes specifically designed for troop mail and offers discounts for packages sent to service members. To help Lucy Mercado's foundation send packages to her five platoons, visit www.supportourheroes.net.
Ricardo Rios, Jr.