By Spc. Justin Naylor 2nd BCT, 1st Cav. Div. PAOMarch 16, 2010
FORT HOOD, Texas- For Soldiers serving in combat, there is hardly a more pleasant way to end the day than by opening up a box of goodies sent from fans and friends in the States. And for the lucky units associated with the Adopt-a-Unit Program, these boxes come with regularity.
In recognition of support received through the Adopt-a-Unit Program from Congressman John Carter and county judge, Dan Gattis, the commander of 4th Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division recently presented two flags to them as a gesture of thanks.
"On behalf of all the support that they provided us and the Adopt-a-Unit Program, we presented them with flags we flew over our squadron headquarters during combat operations," said Lt. Col. Andy Shoffner.
According to Shoffner, Carter and Gattis were instrumental in getting Williamson County, which is just south of Fort Hood, involved with the program.
The congressman explained that while driving past Fort Hood toward Williamson County he pondered on how his constituents didn't know about all the good people serving at Fort Hood. This gave him the idea of getting the community involved with the Adopt-a-Unit Program, which he brought to his staff, who then began talking to local businesses about it.
"Our cities and our county are proud we're involved," he said. "It's a pride thing. We're glad we've got these relationships going."
Both he and the judge continue to encourage others to join the program.
Also honored during the ceremony was the Texas-based Union State Bank, which has adopted 4th Sqdn., 9th Cav. Regt. since 2005.
The goal of the program is to have businesses, individuals or chambers of commerce adopt units and help support them while deployed and while stateside, explained Colleen Beck, the CEO of Union State Bank.
"We do anything from sending a Soldier a letter to sending them Girl Scout cookies or stuffed animals and toys to hand out to the Iraqi or Afghan children," she said.
"The support has been overwhelming," said Shoffner.
The unit also saw the benefit of the program when they started having wounded warriors coming home.
The returning warriors received welcome home baskets with food and sundry items that would keep them going until personal bags could catch up with them from theater, explained Shoffner.
"We appreciate them," said Beck. "It's such a privilege to associate with the Army and all the people in the Army."