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.
October 05, 2004
Marines get word: We really do care
By Alice Kenny
New Windsor - Stumbling under the weight of two 40-pound boxes, Luz Mercado kicked open the New Windsor post office door yesterday, dropping off care packages for her son and his Marine troops in Iraq. She mails them boxes nearly every day now, thanks in part to a flood of contributions, in part to fear.
American forces have been fighting house to house this week to take back the city of Samarra. Luz doesn't know if her son, Sgt. Luis Mercado, is part of this effort Ð he won't tell her Ð but she hasn't heard from him in days. Her one-woman operation collecting and mailing supplies to the troops, Support Our Heroes, fills time she would otherwise spend worrying. "I don't know if Luis is there;
I don't want to think about that," Luz said, her face taut. "Without this project, I'd go crazy."
Initially, the 43-year-old mom sent supplies only to her son. She decided to adopt the whole squad after her 21-year-old son told her about fellow Marines who get nothing from home. The men need power drinks and power bars for pick-me-ups after 14-hour days filled with bloodshed and bombs, he said. They need socks to replace the ones they sweat through in the 130-degree desert.
The Record publicized her efforts two weeks ago. Since then, Luz received more than 40 letters postmarked from Newburgh to Florida with donations topping $3,000. A Cub Scout troop asked to adopt her son's squadron. A child enclosed $5, describing himself as a "Wanna Be Marine." Mothers of retired Marines sent letters filled with checks and prayers. A veterans' motorcycle club, Rolling Thunder, gave her $200.
Postal clerks greet Luz by name.
"It's hard to know what to say," New Windsor postal clerk Alayne Keiser said. "You don't want to show your emotions and get her upset. But when you hear about young guys fighting over there, it makes you think."
Ricardo Rios, Jr.