Even as a civilian, Don Christian traveled all over the US and the world on behalf of the US armed forces and the Department of Defense. His cartography and analytical skills have proved useful to the National Imagery and Mapping Agency, the US Army Corps of Engineers, and the Navy Training and Education Command. So when Christian prepared for his retirement in January from NETC, he wanted to pay tribute to another organization that supports servicemembers: the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society.

“The idea was that I didn’t want a bunch of retirement plaques and things purchased for me,” explained Christian. “I thought there was a much better cause if my team at NETC wanted to mark my retirement. We could do something toward bettering the younger generation.”

Christian had often heard co-workers discussing NMCRS, and he saw the Society’s work helping Sailors and Marines with their finances as complimentary to NETC’s work instructing new Sailors. “NMCRS seemed like a worthy cause and a great organization,” he said. “I’ve gotten awards for some of the work I’ve done and I’m proud of the work I’ve done, but in the end the goal is to do something for others, which is what the Society does.”

When he announced his retirement from NETC, where he’s worked since 2007, Christian invited his colleagues to raise money for NMCRS as his parting gift. But he wanted to contribute as well, and said he would match any donations to the Society up to $500. “I think my office was very supportive. They still had a little event on my behalf, but they also ended up giving $270, and I gave $270, for a total of $540 to NMCRS. That should help a couple people with short-term loans and support. I hope anyone who’s looking for a great cause and wanting to do something special at the culmination of their career would consider doing a fundraiser for the Society.”

Now a few months into retirement, Christian is enjoying accomplishing some projects at his home in Pensacola, as well as fishing and playing cards. “I may eventually go back to work or do some volunteer work,” he said, “but for now I’m enjoying retirement.”

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