A soldier in the field in Iraq or Afghanistan might have the chance to make one phone call every few days, so when that call comes to us we must make the most of it. Robbie Rummel knows that and made sure an exhausted sergeant in Iraq had the one-and-done phone call he needed to clear up a problem with an auto body shop back home.
Rummel, an associate claims adjuster in Colorado Springs, Colo., instantly recognized that the caller was in Iraq, where it was about 11 p.m. His wife did not have access to his bank account and couldn't get their car out of the shop until they paid the deductible.
Rummel did not want the sergeant to have to try to make another call from Iraq, so she got the garage on the phone and arranged for him to pay his bill on the spot so that his wife could pick up the car. She advised him to use usaa.com to clear up his wife's bank access problem and thanked him for serving our country, ending the call with, "Sweet dreams."
"He was so tired when he called," Rummel said. "He perked up when I told him I'd get the shop on the line, and then I could hear the relief in his voice when it was taken care of. In his mind, he has this one shot to make this problem go away, so my goal was that when he hangs up this is not on his mind anymore."
Rummel said she would tell other representatives who speak with deployed USAA members to try to put themselves in the members' shoes.
"If you had one chance to solve a problem in a week's time, how would you feel to have to hang up knowing that problem wasn't resolved yet and you may have to call again?" Rummel said. "When he hung up, I felt that he made me happier than I made him. Being a USAA employee allows us to give something back to those who are serving our country."