Some calls stand out more than others. For USAA's Brooke Narum, it was the member who had just lost his wife in a car accident. The retired Marine Corps major said he felt the "fog of war" more than ever at that time, but Narum's empathy and expertise helped carry him through. His heartfelt letter is a poignant reminder that what we do for our members every day makes a difference.
The member had known his wife since the third grade, and the pair married in 1981. They have two sons who are Marine Corps officers and USAA members.
After the fatal accident, Narum called the member to walk him through everything from the medical helicopter bills to funeral costs, and her help in his time of need made a powerful impact.
"She has been almost like a family member looking out for me in my ignorance on procedures and things to do," the member wrote to member relations. "I am so thoroughly impressed and blessed that my wife utilized USAA that I am switching my current bank that I have had since 1978. ... I could not be more honored or grateful for your USAA professionalism and family-value-attitude staff."
Narum said her goal as an examiner is to ease the burden for the member, and this member's letter is an acknowledgement that what she does makes a difference.
"It is claims like this one that tug at your heart," she said. "When I initially spoke to our member, I just wanted to jump through the phone and give him a hug and tell him it would be OK. All I could do was listen and be there for him in his greatest time of need. That's what we do for our members."