A Lodi insurance company went the extra mile and gave one month's free auto insurance to a local soldier who received a Purple Heart after being wounded in Iraq.
An impromptu decision by Brooke Insurance and Financial Services owner Barbara Cheney led to Brennan Beck saving almost $300.
Beck, 20, is in Lodi for a month's leave before heading to U.S. Army headquarters in Germany, so he needed only 28 days of insurance for his 2001 Ford Escape. His father, Mike Beck, tried to add his son to his policy, but his insurance company said it doesn't have 28-day policies.
Then, Cheney came to the rescue this week, first waiving the $89 brokerage fee. When she discovered how inexpensive the month-long policy was, Cheney decided to waive the premium as well.
"What he's been doing for us doesn't compare to a small little brokerage fee," Cheney said. "I thought it was a blessing he came into our office."
Beck and his father were equally impressed with Cheney's generosity.
"I never really expected anything, coming home (from Iraq)," Beck said. "Such complete kindness from a total stranger."
And this comes from a young man who received a Purple Heart after shrapnel lodged into his back. His injuries were minor, but a close friend was killed in the attack. Beck said he didn't want to talk about the incident.
Beck served a year in Baghdad, where 14 soldiers in his 144-member company were killed. That made Cheney's kindness even more special.
"It makes you feel like we're fighting for something," Beck said.
Graduates from Tokay High School.
Assigned to Germany by the U.S. Army.
Assigned to Iraq.
Returns to Germany.
Begins month-long leave in Lodi.
Returns to Germany.
Expected discharge date.
Source: Brennan Beck.
Beck kept his morale up in Baghdad by drawing cartoons. His cartoons were posted on a wall in Baghdad. He said he enjoyed watching soldiers walk by, read the cartoons and laugh.
Beck not only enlisted in the Army after his graduation from Tokay High in 2005, he chose the infantry. When he heads to Germany in January, he will likely become a sergeant and begin training other soldiers. He is due to be discharged in 2009 unless he re-enlists.
His father, Mike Beck, said that Brennan Beck may have joined the Army by following in his father's footsteps. Mike Beck was in the U.S. Army and Army National Guard and now in the Air Force Reserves. He served in Iraq from 2002 to 2004 in a fire suppression unit.
Mike Beck now has two jobs, as a fire captain at Cache Creek Rancheria in Yolo County, and with the fire department at Travis Air Force Base. And he is proud of his son for his military service, just like Cheney, from Brooke Insurance.
"He made my day. He made my Christmas," she said.