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.
Troops always on mom's mind - Care packages are her mission
By Michael Randall
Published: 2:00 AM - 11/26/11
NEW WINDSOR — When she began sending care packages to troops in Iraq and Afghanistan back in 2004, Lucy Mercado never thought it would become a long-term project.
"I thought it was going to be a year or two," she said.
But while U.S. troops are supposed to be out of Iraq by the end of the year, we've still got a sizable presence in Afghanistan.
When it all started in 2004, Mercado's son, Marine Sgt. Luis Mercado Jr., was on his second tour of duty in Iraq. Like any mom, Lucy would send her son care packages.
When she learned from Luis that he shared what she sent with his fellow Marines because some of them didn't have anybody back home to send them supplies, Mercado starting to send packages to other platoons. And she pledged that if Luis came home safe and healthy, she'd keep on sending packages until all our troops came home.
She eventually formed a foundation, Support Our Heroes, and she gets donations from individuals and businesses, though it all tends to come this time of year.
"It's only between Thanksgiving and Christmas that people help the foundation," Mercado said. "After Dec. 25, everything stops." The rest of the year, what she needs mostly comes out of her own pocket.
The needs have not changed: apple juice and other fruit juices; potato chips and similar snacks in individual bags; candy; body wash for men and women; toothpaste; wipes; energy bars.
A complete list of needed items and more information, including how to give monetary donations, is available on the foundation website: www.supportourheroes.net.
While donations are down from the past, Mercado remains hopeful.
"I know times are hard," she said. "But I also think about all those people who will be out shopping on (Black) Friday. If they each gave just $5, that would help a lot."
Ricardo Rios, Jr.