27 Jun '17, 10pm

Soldier of the Year aims to combat suicide by connecting troops through app

Mercado, now 37, joined the National Guard in 1997 and re-enlisted on active duty in 2000. After the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Mercado chose to earn a commission because he felt he should and could do more as a soldier. He ended up deploying during the surge of troops in Iraq from 2006 to 2008, and then twice to Afghanistan in 2008 and 2011. Mercado also completed two shorter tours to Israel and Africa. Lt. Col. Fred Miller, Mercado’s supervisor, said his efforts address “the most prolific threat to the military community.” “His professionalism and honest character will represent the values of our collective community for years to come,” Miller said. Mercado dedicates his free time to fine-tuning the Objective Zero app, but he also makes his wife and two children a priority. He has volunteered as a youth wrestling coach, mentoring his son and other young wrestlers. He co...

Full article: https://www.armytimes.com/articles/soldier-of-the-year-ai...

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