In 1977, Paul joined the military with the original intention to obtain the GI bill so that he could attend college after his service. Little did he know that he would move away from this path and on to a different path to something even greater.
After his recruit training, he took a three-year position in San Diego working on sonar systems with the US Navy. In his time there Paul was awarded the Navy Achievement
Medal and a letter of commendation. In 1992, Paul moved to Norfolk, VA to continue his military career. For the next fifteen years, he would remain in the Norfolk area taking on a multitude of duties and responsibilities working his way up to Command Master Chief Petty Officer ranking. He was later awarded the Navy Commendation medal for his unrelenting focus on operational missions and the command earning the 2002 Vice Admiral Waller Award.
During his time, Paul survived the 2000 attack on the USS COLE (DDG 67) in Aden, Yemen. Noted as one of the most catastrophic and horrific events in the Navy’s history, Paul used this to fuel his devotion and dedication to those around him.
Since leaving the military, Paul has been working with government contractors including American Systems, which is a government services contractor providing IT and engineering solutions in the areas of national priority. With American Systems, he trains, coaches and mentors sailors in anti-submarine warfare tactics and procedures. He also uses his first-hand experience to teach crisis leadership and damage control.
Outside of his profession, Paul works with combat veterans experiencing post-traumatic stress as a part of the Combat Stress Recovery program as well as the Welcome Home Initiative. The Welcome Home Initiative assists war-zone veterans suffering from PTSD or moral injury through a three-day retreat-style experience including a series of speakers and discussions that give an outline for healing.
Paul continuously gives his all in every aspect of his life. From his time in the US Navy, to his current occupation and in his personal life he aims to touch, impact and inspire others through leadership and guidance.
“[Paul’s] unswerving commitment to the Navy Core Values of HONOR, COURAGE, and COMMITMENT is simply unsurpassed”
– W. F. Barns | Capt, USN (Ret.)
Branch Partner Tanya Gills from our ALCOVA Virginia Beach branch was honored to present Paul with his Hometown Hero award.
*Pictured left to right: Paul Abney and Tanya Gills
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