I wrote a story for this week’s newspaper about Sgt. Steve Bunker, U.S. Army. He has undoubtedly had a run of hard knocks beginning last October when a vehicle in which he was traveling in Iraq was hit by a mortar blast. The impact from the blast broke his pelvis, hip, and back, and now that he is injured and reassigned to the Wounded Warriors Batallion, he no longer receives combat pay which amounted to $2,100 a month. Because of the pay cut, Bunker contacted his bank, USAA Federal Savings Bank in San Antonio, to try and negotiate terms on his car loan. Bank officials have been unwilling to negotiate and have now threatened to take Bunker’s van. Bunker has four children ranging in ages one to 15, and the van is the family’s primary mode of transportation.
So not only have thieves pilfered the houses he was working on in Spur for his family to live in (see “Home renovation set back by pilferers”, The Texas Spur, 6/26/08) but he is also fighting a military bank to keep his transportation.
According to Wikipedia, the United Services Automobile Association (USAA) is a Fortune 200 financial services company focused on providing banking, investing, and insurance to people and families that serve, or served, in the U.S. military and other selected federal agencies. USAA was founded in 1922 by a group of U.S. Army officers to self-insure each other when they were unable to secure auto insurance due to the perception that they were a high-risk group. I wonder what those guys would think about USAA not having a “policy in place” to address a problem like Sgt. Bunker’s.
It’s one thing for a business to purportedly say they support our troops, but is a business in actuality willing to put their money where their mouth is?