Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

Remembering the servicemembers who died in the service of their country.

Army Spc. Gil Mercado

25, of Paterson, New Jersey.
Killed by a non-combat weapon discharge in Iraq. Mercado was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, Fort Campbell, Kentucky. Died on April 13, 2003.

Please send information, photos, and corrections for Army Spc. Gil Mercado.


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Leave a message in memory of this servicemember, and/or to the loved ones left behind.

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"I, Served with Gil in HHC 3-187IN back in 2003, He never asked me for anything but on that day he asked if I'd seen his brother who was in the Battalion I replied no but I told him I was leading a convoy to his location the next day and he could ride in my vehicle, If only you could have seen the smile on his face then he went on to tell me about the car he was going to buy his wife when we got back home. That smile will always be with me. RIP my Brother."
SFC Turner (HHC 68) Support PLT

"I served with Gill. He was a great person, I want to say to his family I wish to send my condolences. I used to talk to him every day when we would come in from a mission or out for one. He always seemed positive and was always ready to listen if you needed someone to just listen. He will never be forgotten!"
Chris Crowder of Boonsboro,MD USA

"I was in 3/187 Cco and I had the honor of knowing Gil. He was a great guy who always lit up the room he walked into. I was on that very compound with him the day of tragedy. Shocked all of us for the loss of such a great friend and soldier to us all. God bless him and his family. "Let valor not fail"."
Sgt. Swartz, Joshua J. of PA, USA

"Eight years have passed and it is as painful today as is was the day you passed...I love you and miss you...You will always be in my heart...I love you baby brother..."
Rosy of Paterson,NJ

"i think of gil often he was a great guy,always had a smile rember alot of good times in afghanistan with him and his bro rivera, rember the last time i seen him went to the gym in kuwati, will always rember mercardo,one of the greatest person iv ever had the privlage to know, keep ur head up alnardo think of u often, ur friend spc cox"
Preston Cox of Roosevelt Ut

"I didn't know your brother, But I feel so bad for you since we were friends. I'm sorry for your loss. I hope all is good with you and your family.
Please mail me at shibitomeiming@yahoo.com this is especially for Alnardo."
Glorimil M. of Hoboken, NJ

"I was in Co. HHC of the 3/187th Infantry Regiment out of Fort Campbell, KY before I was discharged. I served with this man in Afghanistan 6 years ago (knew him pretty well). He was a fellow of cheer, and could brighten a day... He was a true friend of mine, and forever will be. I'm really hoping that is family is doing well on this 5th, and tragic anniversary (even though that I know at times like this, I know that it cannot be easy.) I just wanted to "put my 2 cents in", so to speak...Thanks to all who have served."
Clinton Brannan of Forsyth, MO.

"January 11, 2008
To the family of Spc. Gil Mercado:
Gil gave the ultimate sacrifice and will be held in the hearts of Americans forever. I cannot and will not let our fallen heroes be forgotten. My deepest sympathy to you. "Some gave all."
Peggy Childers
"Don't Let The Memory Of Them Drift Away"
Peggy Childers of Carson City, NV

I would like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for our Country. And to your family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.

"Rakkasans-Ne Desit Virtus"
(Let Valor Not Fail)
187th Inf. Motto"

"I met Mercado at PLDC, we were in the same squad there together. We actually managed to have some good times there and laughed alot. He was just getting into motorcycles and my family has always been strong advocates of the MSF and other rider schools. I was supposed to help teach him how to ride (safely) when we got back. I really wish that could have happened. I heard about what happened while in country but it didn't seem right. His picture was on the wall of the airport I flew into when we came home. That made it real for me. To me it seems he was taken before his time, which makes me sad and a bit angry. Everytime I think of him though I can hear him calling me a "Yackass!" and it makes me smile. Your a funny guy Mercado, I'm glad I met you. See you around man. melugin75@yahoo.com"
SGT Melugin, Michael of OBX, NC (Iraq again now)

"Gil, I remember seeing you around the aid station and in the halls, I am sorry we never had much time to chat. TO his Family, Gil was a great soldier and always helped those in need. He always stood for what the Rakkasans were all about.

Good night brave rakkasan, may the echoes of Taps, speed the to thy rest. Until we meet again, RAKKASAN!!"
Doc of IL

"Amado Jay, I have no words to express how much I miss you everyday. Our loved ones we keep in our hearts, that's were you are, in mine always. I will see you in heaven HERO.
To the family, my condolences."
Karen Figueroa of Seattle, WA

"to the family of spc. mercado. i knew mercado because i was in his section in hhc 3/187. it was a tragic day when he died. i feel like i could have stopped what had happened. i was in the room with him. he was everything everybody said he was. whenever i was upset he would always cheer me up. i just wanted to give my condolences."
spc hazlett, patrick of ft. campbell, kentucky usa

"To the family of Gil Mercado, I am so sorry for the loss of your love one. He died a hero defending freedom. May you have the peace and understanding that only comes from God. Hopefully we will all meet in Heaven one day where we will rest in the arms of Jesus. If you need prayer or need someone to talk to please call or write my pastor at Gateway Community Church: Rev John B. Pearrell 11677 Brown Bridge Rd. Covington Ga. 30016 phone 770-787-1015. Your friend in Jesus Christ."
Polly Ballew of Covington Ga


"To Brother Alnardo Rivera. Your Brother was a good man. Always helping us out. Its almost 2 years and just wanted to tell you. I still think of what happened and what we've done together. Keep your head straight bro.
A co 3/187"
Michael "MO" Modugno of Stratford, CT USA

"Although I didn't have the privilege of ever really knowing you, dear cousin, my respect & love will "always" be with you. Thank you so very much for protecting us all!"
Victor Miguel Mercado (Pipo) of Easton, Pa.

"This was a devasting news for all. Our deepest sympathy goes out to Jay's Family and his wife Lucy. We had memorable moments as a family and had great times together at Ft. Campbell. We miss you very much and indeed you are and will always be a true hero, friend, brother, and cool guy. You demostrated valor and courage at all times and always with humor. You also had talent as a cook, comedian, in your drawings and funny dancing. May God bless your family now and forever, and may you rest in peace. Your friends,"
Nancy, Edwin and Anthony Gonzalez of Wahiawa, HI Schofield Barracks

"Bro every time I think about those days when we where together in Iraq,having the roughest times and you would always have that smile and would always assure me that we where going to make it through.I will never forget that,and I will always keep that in my heart and mind because I know I lost someone close to me some one very Important to me,but the lord took you from me for some reason,but he took a hero,And thats what you are to me my hero.You will never be forgotten,you will always be in my thoughts, Heart and soul,and I know I will see you some day in heaven.Love you bro."
Brother Alnardo Rivera of FT Campbell KY

""Junior" you were a great person, and a fun, loving cousin. We miss you so much... Dini, Laura, and Andre
We are very proud of you, You are our hero..."
Dinelia Cordero of Newark, NJ

"I'm sorry for your loss and even though I did not have the privilege of meeting him i would have liked to because he sounds like the kind of person that is friends with evreyone that comes to know him. I hope the people that read about him realize that he died to protect us and the Iraqi people. These people should salute him because of his bravery and courage."
7th grade student of Barker Middle School

Please KNOW so many people share your sadness, and we are remembering your family in your loss and your deep grief. Your HERO, Gil, will be remembered by name. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. God Bless you. Pat & Sandi Breckenridge from Montana "

"In Loving Memory..Its been a year..

At the rising of the sun and at its going down, We remember them.
At the blowing of the wind and in the chill of Winter, We remember them.
At the opening of buds and in the rebirth of Spring, We remember them.
At the blueness of the skies and in the warmth of Summer, We remember them.
At the rustling of leaves and the beauty of Autumn, We remember them.
At the beginning of the year and when it ends, We remember them.
As long as we live, they too will live;
for they are now a part of us, as we remember them.
Rest in Peace Dear Soldier!! We will NEVER FORGET!"
The Grogan Family of Lakeland, TN (4/13/04)

"Specialist Mercado, goodbye soldier and thank you. You are my hero."
Bill of Houston, Texas

"Gil, although we have never met I feel that you are apart of me and my family. I hail from Paterson born and raised here. My husband is also in the Army National Guard his name is Spc. Ephraim Hernandez and he is currently in Iraq for 18 long months. You are a true hero to all of us and although I wish in my heart that you didn't have to leave us, god needed the best and he knew he found it in you. Your my angel watching over my husband. My heart and prayers go out to all of your friends, family, and loved ones. God Bless you and your soul."
Carmen Hernandez of Paterson NJ

"In alot of ways we were so much alike; we like bringing smiles to people's faces with our good humour. We were the family clowns. I miss you terribly and hope one day to see you in Heaven along with abuelita. You are always in my heart and prayers. You truly are my hero. The Mercado family loves you alot Junior."
Nilmarie Mercado of Tampa, FL

"I love you now and always. There are no words to describe what a tragedy this is and how much I miss you..."
Mayra of APO, AE UK

"Thank you Gil Mercado, you will not be forgotten. Your bravery goes beyond words. I want to express my deepest gratitude for your sacrifice. To the family and friends, my prayers and deep condolences in your loss. May God strengthen you from knowing that fellow Americans and people around the world care about you and grieve with you in your loss. God bless you all. A very appreciative fellow American,"
Leo Titus of Grayslake, Illinios

"To the family of Spc. Gil Mercado,
I am deeply saddened by the loss of Spc. Mercado. I attended Basic Training with Spc. Mercado at Fort Sill. Gil assisted me through many difficult times while at Fort Sill. He came to my defense when other soldiers gave me a hard time. I can honestly say Gil is the one true friend I made at BCT, and I will miss him dearly.
May God bless this fallen hero."
SPC Durbin

"You were not only a cousin you were also like a brother. Always remember you are forever in my heart. Love always"
Victor Mercado of Guttenberg, NJ

"We thank you for the sacrafice your son made for us. Our hearts and prayers are with you during this time. Thank you Gil, May God keep you in His care."
Ken and Maritza Holley of Pembroke Pines, Florida

"To the family and friends of Spc. Gil Mercado:
May God's grace be with you during your time of grief. Please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you and we feel your loss and share in your sorrow. Bless Gil for the sacrifice he has made to make a better life for the rest of us."
The Ford Family of Wells, Nevada

"To the family and friends of Spc. Gil Mercado:
I am saddened by the loss of your loved one. He will always be remembered as a hero for fighting for freedom. I hope that this website will be a source of comfort and encouragement for you during this difficult time, and in the future as you recall the memories of Gil, who continues to live on in your heart."
Tim Rivera, of Powder Springs, Georgia

"RIP Special Angel and Brave Warrior. We shall always think of you when we see the brightest star at night."
The Taylors, USMC of NC

"Your effort and courage will be felt for years to come, thanks to you and those who raised you for this ultimate sacrifice, your service to this country and mission to better the impoverished Iraqi people will never be forgotten and lead others to follow in your courageous footsteps.

I only wish I could have thanked you personally before you left. You have become a large block in the foundation of a terror free world, and I can't wait to shake your hand when we meet in heaven, God Bless."
US Citizen of Everywhere, USA

"May our Lord have you guarding the gates of Heaven.

Your sacrifice will forever be remembered."
Astrid Valdivia of Anaheim, CA

Honor them by remembering... Freedom - is their gift to us But his soul goes marching on