U.S. Navy Public Affairs

Every day Christine Duchmann, the custodian at the Naval Construction Battalion Center’s Youth Center spends her day cleaning up everyone else’s messes…with a mop, dust rag, and a smile.

Duchmann is a New Orleans East native, but in 1987, she found a home in Hancock County for a good price and made the move to Mississippi.

She has been living there ever since. Duchmann has worked in several areas within the Morale Welfare and Recreation Department since 2019 and moved around to help where she was needed as the organization went through COVID-related restructuring/closures.

Duchmann is known to her colleagues, coworkers, and supervisors as a mild-mannered, friendly, and sweet person who bends over backward to help wherever she is needed, but many would never guess she has had a past in a completely different career that required a more stern approach.

“I worked security at one of the Casinos for 11 years. I also worked security at the Port. I also worked as an armed security officer at the government passport office at Stennis,” Duchmann said.

Duchmann’s current existence is what one could consider, simple and pleasant.

Since 1987, Duchmann slowly bought all the lots (7 and a half) around her property to expand her serene surroundings, she spends her off time tending to her perfectly manicured lawn and garden of flower beds and pear trees.

Her house and yard are typically the discussions of neighbors as they compliment her on her home’s appearance.

One of her big projects recently was to burn a tree that she had cut down.

Her plan was to sit in front of her firepit all weekend with her 15-year-old bobtail cat and enjoy her property.

Duchmann’s only other hobby is spending time on the beach and having barbecues with friends.

While at work, Duchmann finds a different serenity on the job.

“One thing that I love about this job is the people working here. I enjoy coming to work just to be around everyone. Everyone is so nice and friendly. I have a terrific boss. I stay busy the whole time and I don’t stop. I like to keep everything clean,” said Duchmann.

According to her coworkers, Duchmann is never the center of controversy, and even during busy times, she is the calm in the storm.

“I just mind my business. I can get along with anybody. I don’t cause a fuss. I am just that type of person. I was brought up that way. I do my job. I am here and I don’t take time off. Even after the virus hit, I was still here working. I am not scared of work,” she said with a humble smile.

Although COVID caused plenty of grief across every department, it seems to have done the Youth Center a favor by causing Duchmann to find her way to the MWR department.

“I worked at the Shuckers stadium as an usher from the time it opened to 2019 on the weekends,” she said. Work dried up at the Stadium once COVID shut down baseball games. After a quick foray into retail, she landed a job on base.

Duchmann seemed to take to working on the installation immediately. Even though she has an hour-long commute, it doesn’t seem to deter her from showing up ready to go every day.

“When you come to work and enjoy it, there are no bumps in the road. I come here to do my work. I know how to do it and I do it. I love working over here with the people I have met here. I love them. I wouldn’t work with anyone else for the world,” she said.

“I got a good job, with good benefits, what more can I ask for? I don’t think I would ever want to do anything else. I am just enjoying my life and being happy”.