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.
Local help needed to supply troops
By Rich Flaherty
NEW WINDSOR - Lucy Mercado of New Windsor has been sending packages to U.S. military personnel in the Middle East for six years. The need continues and she's looking for area residents to help pitch-in during the holiday season.
It began when Lucy's son, Luis, a Staff Sergeant with the U.S. Marines, was deployed to Iraq. He sent letters back home requesting snacks, energy drinks and other items from home to share with his fellow Marines. Soon after, Luis' entire platoon made requests for items from home and Lucy eventually adopted her son's platoon in an effort to keep the supplies flowing.
After his tour in Iraq, Lucy's son came home for stateside duty for a brief time and is now serving in Japan. "(He's) coming back in April," said Lucy. "I hope he's not transferred overseas, but we don't know."
Lucy has continued with her mission of sending items overseas and is now helping four platoons; two from the U.S. Marines and two from the U.S. Army, totaling about 400 men and women.
She said countless people went to the stores on Black Friday to purchase holiday gifts, but how many thought about our military men and women serving overseas. "If it wasn't for them (troops), we wouldn't be able to shop today."
Lucy made a promise that she would send items to the troops if her son came back safely and until all the troops came home. "I just didn't think it would take this long, but I'm still doing it. I kept my promise so far," she said.
Just recently, students at Newburgh Free Academy (NFA) donated boxes of supplies to be sent to the troops in a program called "Operation Newburgh Cares." The students collected various items that filled 30 boxes. "If it wasn't for them, I wouldn't have anything to send over," said Lucy.
She collects all the donated items inside her garage in preperation for mailing. She also accepts stamps. "They're a great help," Lucy said. She's also spent a lot of her own money sending boxes overseas.
Needed donated items include baby wipes, Q-tips, body wash for men and women, feminine hygiene products, tooth paste, shampoo, soap bars, foot powder or spray, black socks, energy bars, energy drinks, fruit juice, chips, cookies, candy, peanuts, pretzels, slim jims, gum, postage stamps, envelopes, pens, writing pads, blank holiday cards, gift cards (Walmart, BJ's), ziploc plastic bags (quart or gallon size).
Lucy started a website called supportourheroes.net. The site has up to date information on supplies that are needed and some background on the troops that are being helped. The website also allows you to make donations by credit card to help the cause.
If you need more information, or would like to donate needed items, you can call Lucy Mercado at 845-590-4325. Donated items can be dropped off at Mercado's home at 18 Windsor Square Drive, New Windsor, New York 12553.
"Every year it gets harder," added Lucy. "Whatever help is given, I appreciate anything."
Ricardo Rios, Jr.