Veteran of the Week – John Abney

Beaufort’s John Abney, 65, joined the United States Marine Corps in the Bronx, N.Y., in 1975. After Boot camp at Parris Island, he became an administrator, first serving more than seven years with an F-4 squadron at MCAS Beaufort. He deployed with the squadron to Iwakuni, Japan, Iceland, Norway, Arizona and the Philippines.

He returned to Beaufort to serve as a Drill Instructor where he was meritoriously promoted to Gunnery Sergeant. He then served more than five years with an F-18 squadron at MCAS Beaufort, again with numerous overseas deployments. A one-year tour on Okinawa followed before a tour at MCAS Cherry Point, from which he deployed to three Navy ships during Desert Shield/Storm.

Abney returned to Beaufort and Parris Island on the MCRD staff in charge of the Depot Administration Center. He retired in 1996 as a Master Sergeant with more than 20 years of active service. Along the way he completed a bachelor degree and then used the GI Bill to earn a Masters of Social Work degree. He then worked for the Beaufort County Assessor’s Office, the Department of Social Services (5 years) before returning to federal service for 16 years as a civilian helping service personnel and their families.

Abney’s final position was Program Manager for the Exceptional Family Member Program at Beaufort installations. His list of public service positions is long and includes Volunteer Guardian Ad-Litem, member of the Beaufort County Planning Commission, Psychiatric Technician at Beaufort Memorial Hospital, active member of the Montford Point Marine Association, DAV Service Officer and Associate Minister at Grays Hill Gospel Deliverance Church. He’s been married for 42 years to Linda (Smalls) of Beaufort.

Compiled by John Chubb, American Legion Post 9. For nominations, contact jechubb1@gmail.com.

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