My Hero, 1st Sgt Luke Mercardante.

Tags: HeroStories

The first time I ever heard the name Luke Mercardante was when my

daughter Kim called and said, "Mom, I met someone!"  "You won't believe

it, he's a Marine and he is so great." Kim was bartending full time and

a full time student in Jacksonville NC.  From the night they met after

Luke came home from Iraq, he went in every night she worked. One look

from him discouraged even a friendly wave from another guy! They became

closer and closer and this girl, who's Dad is a retired Marine, and who

said she would NEVER marry  a military person, fell more in love with

this guy each day.  They were together as much as possible and the day

came when they decided to live together.  Truly, I had never heard her

laugh like she did after they met. The pure joy was in her voice and

when they were in the same room there was laughter and love that lit up

the room. Luke was selected to the the Battalion Sgt Major as a 1st

Sgt. He was an incredible Marine and thrived on helping his troops excel

and he was able to make a difference in so very many lives. His faith

was paramount and his love of the Corps never waivered. His two children

from his previous marriage adored him as did Kim's 5 year old, Noah.

These children were a priority in his ife and he never tired of the long

drive to Georgia to see them as often as he could. They were all

prepared to be a family when Luke returned from Afghanistan. And he

loved his Mom so much...she was HIS hero. Luke was excited about the

deployment as all good Marines always are! They were hoping to make

history. His last email to me before the fateful mission was how much he

loved my daughter and that his prayer was to bring all his guys home

safely. His last call to Kim was as they were leaving for the mission

that would ultimately be his last. He called her to say don't worry, I

love you and will call in a few days. They were planning to get married

soon after he returned home. He was a hero to all of us, his family,

future family and friends. He was unlike anyone I have ever known and I

will miss him and mourn the loss of what could have been.

Christine Hull

In Loving Memory

1st Sgt Luke Mercardante

KIA 4.15.08

Always in our Hea