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.
September 22, 2004
One-woman organization helps troops
Sergeant's mom sends supplies to platoon of many
By Alice Kenny
New Windsor - Luz Mercado wiped away tears as she packed care packages for her son and his fellow Marines. Sgt. Luis Mercado, 21, phoned yesterday to tell her that he and his platoon, already stationed on the front line of Iraq for the past six months, will likely remain there until March.
The news reinforced Luz's determination to somehow help.
"They're giving so much more than we're giving them," Luz said. "Whether we believe in the war or not, they're giving us their lives."
Luz founded Support our Heroes, a nonprofit, one-woman organization, sending supplies every other day to American troops in Iraq.
Initially, the mother sent supplies only to her son.
She decided to adopt his whole platoon of nearly many men and women when Sgt. Mercado told her about fellow Marines who never received supplies from home.
The men get three meals and lots of water, her son told her. But men need power drinks and energy bars for pick-me-ups during 14-hour days filled with bombs and bloodshed.
They need new socks to replace the ones they sweat and wear through in the 130-degree desert.
So the 43-year-old mom and part-time jeweler converted a corner of her garage into a warehouse. For months, she and her husband, Luis Sr., sent the supplies and footed the bills themselves. When cash got tight, Luz started soliciting contributions from nearly everyone she knows. Queen Nail Design of Newburgh donated 100 bottles of shampoo. HOGs motorcycle club, where her husband is a member, gave cash. Members of the Latino Democratic Committee of Orange County emptied their pockets when she approached them earlier this month, donating $180 on the spot and pledging another $250.
With or without contributions, Luz keeps up her mailings. It's all she can do for her son, she said, and the only thing he has asked for.
In an e-mail correspondence Sgt. Mercado sent her and the Record, the sergeant wrote, "I'm looking out for my troops É to keep their morale going. A lot is happening here in Iraq and all I ask for is some type of support."
Ricardo Rios, Jr.