Marine Cpl. Alexander Degenhardt never expected to be repaid for his bone marrow donation. The 26-year-old had signed up to be an anonymous donor, and when he found out he was a match for someone, he was happy to help even though the procedure is painful. His philosophy? What's a little pain if it will save someone's life?
It's this sort of magnanimous spirit that makes the world go round -- people doing things out of the kindness of their hearts without expecting anything in return. But when Cpl. Degenhardt won $2.9 million on a penny slot in Las Vegas soon after he heard he was a match, you gotta wonder if that's some sort of awesome karma.
He was in Nevada training at Nellis Air Force Base and decided to kill some time at the slots at the Bellagio -- within 10 minutes, he was a multimillionaire.
The coolest part about it is that he doesn't plan on letting the money change him that much. He'll get $100,000 a year for the next 20 years, but he's planning on keeping his current car (he wants to see how far past the 250,000-mile mark it will take him), pay off some of his sister's and mom's debt, and perhaps most impressively, he plans on keeping his job.
Some of my best friends are in the Marine Corps. I signed the contract and I got obligations to fulfill. I'm not going to walk away from it just because I have tons of money now.
Semper fi, semper fi, indeed. Sounds like Cpl. Degenhardt is not only a generous man on so many levels, but a loyal one, to boot. I think a lot of people would quit their jobs in a heartbeat, blow some money on a huge party, or splurge on a five-star vacation, but not this guy.
What a wonderful representation of the caliber of individuals in the Marine Corp. Selfless, altruistic, allegiant, and patriotic, he makes our country proud. I hope whomever gets his marrow will be inspired by Degenhardt's benevolent spirit. Kinda hard not to be.
If you won $2.9 million, would you quit your job?
Photo via jayneandd/Flickr