The following quote is from "American Caesar: Douglas MacArthur 1880 - 1964":
[MacArthur] was ambushed by two guerrillas. A bullet tore through the crown of his campaign hat and into a sapling behind him. Drawing his .38 pistol, he shot both ambushers. An Irish sergeant inspected the bodies, saluted the twenty-three-year-old officer, and said "Begging the lieutenant's pardon, but all the rest of the lieutenant's life is pure velvet."
I've never heard this expression ("the rest... is pure velvet") and don't understand how it's supposed to apply here. "Velvet" is sometimes used as a synonym for "smooth"; was the sergeant suggesting his life would go smoothly? That makes little sense, as "you're living on borrowed time" might be a more appropriate given that context!