FORT BLISS, Texas--Thanks to the new Adopt-a-Unit program implemented by the Association of the United States Army, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armor Division was the recipient of earmarked funds for Morale Welfare and Recreation Nov. 21.

To show 4-1 AD's gratitude for the generous donation, personnel from El Paso-based Firstlight Federal Credit Union were invited to observe 4-1 AD training events during the unit's Claymore Forge field training exercise.

"Adopt-a-Unit has been successful in Army posts across the nation. Firstlight started as a military-based credit union over 50 years ago and is always looking for ways to support our troops," said Natalia Flores, the Community Marketing and Business Development Supervisor for Firstlight FCU.

"After meeting with Mr. Gus Rodriguez, President of the El Paso Chapter of the AUSA, we were eager to get involved and adopt the 4-1 AD. Plans for this unit are to deploy in 2009. FirstLight is here today to support our Soldiers and their families as they deploy and will be there again to celebrate them home," Flores added.

After a presentation and tour of the 4-1 AD brigade tactical operations center, the Firstlight VIPs watched Soldiers of 2nd Battalion, 13th Cavalry Regiment run through training scenarios at an urban replica site called Little Chicago. Hearing protection was provided for the event as Soldiers used blank fire ammunition and pyrotechnics to simulate real-world scenarios.

"What a privilege it was to spend time with the fine Soldiers of the 4-1 AD. We came away from today's visit truly impressed with the caliber of these brave Soldiers and their commitment to serving our country. Seeing these men and women training and our interactions with them further supported the pride that we have for them and our gratitude for the work they do," Flores said.

Some of 4-1 AD's Soldiers sat down for lunch at their dining facility with the Firstlight guests, who each received a brigade coin.

"FirstLight thanks the entire 4-1 AD unit for their hospitality. It was an experience we will never forget. FirstLight is fortunate to be a part of the Adopt-a-Unit program and especially proud of the Soldiers that make up the 4-1 AD," said Karl Murphy, president and CEO of Firstlight FCU.