“My first association with the Society was when I was stationed in D.C.,” Dan says. “I scheduled budget counselors from the Society to come and do presentations at our Washington area offices. That helped so many of our people.”
Over his 22 years in the Navy, Dan saw firsthand all the good work the Society does, so it just made sense for him to join us. He was hired for a position in our Education Department in October 1992, and soon he was handling Stafford education loans and NMCRS loans for children of USN and USMC service members who died while on active duty and those of deceased retirees, helping them get money for college. “I really enjoyed helping those youngsters get their undergraduate education,” Dan says.
In 1998 Dan moved into his current job as Director of Loan Administration. He manages the repayment of NMCRS’ interest-free loans, making sure that the Society receives the repayment and that appropriate action is taken when a client is discharged, retires, or passes away before the loan is repaid in full.
“When I was in the Navy,” Dan says, “I could borrow money from my parents if I needed to. But a lot of Sailors and Marines today don’t have families who can help them out – for various reasons. That’s when the Society can really help.”
Dan especially likes the Society’s Quick Assist Loan program. An active duty Sailor or Marine can get money with very few questions asked, and their automatic repayment begins the next month. It helps Sailors and Marines take care of a problem without resorting to payday lenders.
“I’m really glad the Society is there for these kids,” Dan says. “Often, they graduate from high school and join the military with no training in how to handle their finances. On top of that, some have tragic things happen in their lives.”
That’s what makes the Society’s work – and Dan’s – so essential. “If we take care of basic needs,” Dan says, “that allows individuals to move forward and achieve. If I see that we worked with a Master Chief Petty Officer when he was an E3 and now he’s an E9, I think the Society helped to make that possible.”
It’s hard to imagine all the ways the Society touches people’s lives. Dan sees it all the time. In fact, last year, he was attending a conference with his wife in Texas. The hotel manager noticed his Navy baseball cap. When Dan told him that he works with the Society, the manager was shocked. Turns out, the manager was in the Navy and got help from the Society twice – once when his car broke down on his way to see his ailing mother, and a second time after she passed away.
“He was so appreciative,” Dan says, “then, later that night the manager had a bottle of wine and a box of chocolates sent to the room for my wife and me. You never know whose life you’re going to touch.”
Now, after nearly 25 years of working for the Society, Dan is getting ready to retire. “I’m going to miss this place,” Dan says. “I’ve always loved this job. I love working with our staff and our volunteers. But the real satisfaction for me is talking with the Sailors and Marines. That’s what I’m going to miss the most. I’ve always thought of them as family.”
After he retires, Dan is looking forward to volunteering and spending time with his grandson, Tyler. “Just like the football players say after the Super Bowl, I’m going to Disney World – literally,” Dan says. “It’s going to be fun!”
Even though we’re sad to see him leave, it’s been terrific working with him, and we wish him all the best.
“Military folks have a special place in my heart,” Dan says. “The Navy and the Society have been my whole life. I’ll always be committed to them, and I’ll always be proud of what we do.”