Luz Mercado was scared when her son, Luis, went to serve as a Marine in Iraq in 2004. Still, she was determined to support him, so she proceeded to send him care packages.
“I cried all the time,” said Luz. “When my son was away. I asked God please bring him back.”
It eventually became packages for others serving in the military. Eventually Luz started the Support Our Heroes Foundation. Before she knew it, 14 years passed by.
Luz would send packages with various necessities to troops until they came home. Luz often sends packages paid out of pocket. For her, running Support our Heroes can be ailing and expensive.
“To be honest with you,” said Luz. “I’ve considered two or three times to stop the foundation. Through the year is so stressful, nobody helps. I don’t know if the media is not covering what is happening overseas. We’re still losing men and women. A lot of people assume they’re not out there.”
Although, Luz runs a full-time driving school, in many ways Support our Heroes has become another full-time job to her. But with some support and the knowledge of her impact, she still carries on.
“When things got too expensive, I started going around my neighborhood where I live, for help from my neighbors,” said Lucy. “When he [Luis] was in Iraq, I opened up the foundation. Because I felt that it’s a great thing to know when someone receives a package. I mean my son is lucky enough to receive something from us. At that time there was a lot of Dear John letters, not a lot of packages.”
Luz adopts two or three platoons at a time. She sends packages throughout their whole tour, and when one platoon comes home, she adopts another.
“When I opened this foundation, I thought it would be a year or two,” said Luz. “Here I am, 14 years later. I am still sending packages.”
Although, Luz isn’t supportive of war, she continues to send packages to support those serving.
“What I see is that the government wants their bodies out there,” said Mercado. “And they don’t care who’s left behind.”
Currently Luz is supporting two platoons from New Windsor. She struggles to get enough help with Support our Heroes on a regular basis.
Luz asks for various items like: batteries, toothpaste, energy bars, pop tarts, razors with handles and blades, q-tips, and tuna. One can also send monetary donations to Lucy Mercado, 18 Windsor Square Drive, New Windsor, NY 12553.
To learn more visit, supportourheroes.today. Luz can be reached at 845-590-4325 or firstname.lastname@example.org.