Yellow Rose of Texas Recipient, Jacqueline Mercado
Born in Puerto Rico, I am the second of five children. In 1985, I joined the U.S. Army Reserve in Puerto Rico. I graduated Basic Training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina and the Pharmacy Technician Course, Advanced Individual Training at the Academy of Health Science in Fort Sam Houston, Texas where I met my husband, Luis. I have been married to 1SG (RET) Luis Mercado for 26 years.
I served honorably in the Army Reserve for eight years and deployed to Honduras in a humanitarian mission to the isolated communities of the country while stationed in Texas. One of the primary missions was to provide medical support to those in need. I followed my husband through multiple duty station changes during his 24 years of military career and deployments. I always supported and assisted military families while relocating or with guidance and mentoring. I supported military entities such as the Family Readiness Support Groups at my husband’s duty stations.
I earned my Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee and Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Tennessee. My practicum included working with the elderly and later with children/adolescents with mental health issues in the greater Nashville area. During that time I was also volunteered for Meals on Wheels.
After graduation, my husband and I moved to San Antonio, Texas where I started working for the Texas Department of Health assisting children with disabilities. After three years, I was blessed to be invited to work with Methodist Healthcare Ministries providing case management and counseling to those in need.
On receiving the Yellow Rose of Texas Award…
Before his term ended in 1957, Governor Allan Shivers inaugurated the gubernatorial “Yellow Rose of Texas Award” given in honor of Texas women who have demonstrated outstanding volunteer and community service.
It is a humbling experience and a great honor to be part of such elite group of Texan women. I cannot believe I have been awarded this great honor! I was in shock and overwhelmed by all the emotions I was having when the award was presented to me. I am especially thankful to my husband for the nomination. To know that he was the driving force behind it makes an already special award that much more precious and irreplaceable to me. I am also grateful and so happy to be a part of the Methodist Healthcare Ministries family, the Texas community and the military community including active duty, veterans and their family members. God bless everyone, especially my family and colleagues who had made me feel so special and so loved.