When a deploying soldier called USAA, his purpose was to lower his credit card interest rate. Because Chris Rutledge has a passion for serving our military members, he spoke to the member about life insurance as well and sold him a policy. Just 47 days into his deployment, the soldier died in Afghanistan.

Rutledge’s leadership broke the news in a Member Advice & Solutions standup meeting and presented Rutledgewith dog tags that symbolized his efforts to help meet the needs of a member’s family – a wife, now widowed after seven months of marriage.

“This was his first deployment, so he was very open and willing to hear what we had to say and how we could help him and his family,” said Rutledge.

Because Rutledge broached the subject of life insurance in addition to his SGLI in his conversation with the deploying soldier, he was able to help the young member prepare for the financial well being of his family.

The experience reinforced for Rutledge that speaking with a member is more than a transactional experience. It’s making sure we are doing everything we can to help facilitate that member’s financial security.

“Every time I get off the phone with members, even though I’ve never met them, seen them, had the opportunity to shake their hands, I would like to think they’re saying, ‘I’m not just a call or a member number. Chris cares about me and my family,’” Rutledge said.