Chappy’s corner “What a sweet deal!”


A born salesman Ole, the smoothest-talking Norske in the Minnesota National Guard, got called up to active duty. Ole's first assignment was in a military induction center. Because he was a good talker, they assigned him the duty of advising new recruits about government benefits, especially the GI life insurance, to which they were entitled.  The officer in charge soon noticed that Ole was getting a 99% sign-up rate for the more expensive supplemental form of GI insurance. This was remarkable, because it cost these low-income recruits $30 per month for the higher coverage, compared to what the government was already providing at no charge. The officer decided he'd sit in the back of the room at the next briefing and observe Ole's sales pitch. Ole stood up before the latest group of inductees and said, "If you have the normal GI insurance and you go to Afghanistan an' get yourself killed, then the government' pays your beneficiary $20,000. If you take out the supplemental insurance, which cost you only thirty dollars a month, then the government has to pay the beneficiary $200,000!" Now," Ole concluded, "Which bunch you think they are going to send to Afghanistan first?"


As a new Soldier I remember my Administrative Officer informing me that all the Soldiers in the unit had the military life insurance and he encouraged me to do the same. I signed up.  Having that policy didn’t prevent me or others from being deployed to Afghanistan and having that policy didn’t mean my life was “protected” from danger, all it meant was that if I died my family would be reimbursed financially.  Now that is important, but a person’s life can’t be summed up in financial terms. 


So how much is one’s life worth?  Actually a person’s life isn’t summed up with a life insurance policy but rather by the life that person lives. When a person dies, very few folks say “wow he was a rich guy!”  The comments are usually “what a good dad, what a friendly guy, he always was there to help, what a loving husband and the list goes on and on.”  Those comments are not bought with money, but earned by what we do and say. They are created when we take the time to show people we care by listening to others, helping others and serving others.


Through the years I’ve known many folks who had little money in their pockets, but what they had couldn’t be bought with gold or silver. They lived their lives for others and the best example of all is Jesus whose birth was celebrated by millions.  According to the scriptures Jesus left the riches of heaven to come to earth to save us, who didn’t deserve to be saved. But he came because He cared for His creation and he saved the world by paying for our debt of sin with his life. As the apostle Peter stated, “knowing that you were ransomed … not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ…” Jesus gave his life to serve and save others. Personally I believe every life no matter how young or small, or old and ill is precious because God created that person and Christ died for that person.  Life is a gift from God and how we live that life is our gift to God and to others.  


So from this SE corner of South Dakota I think that is a pretty good deal.


CH (COL) David Gunderson