Technical Sergeant (Tsgt) Annee Milewski from Scotia, N.Y., has been in the New York National Guard since 1999. She’s been an APA member since 2002, starting out with 8-Ball and then adding 9-Ball in 2005. She’s currently an E6 (Tsgt), 7-level Aviation Structural Mechanic (sheet metal and corrosion control) with Stratton Air National Guard Base, in Scotia, N.Y. Annee has annual deployments to Antarctica in the winter, and Greenland in the summer. They’re the only unit in the world with a fleet of ski-equipped C-130 Hercules planes, capable of landing on snow and/or ice, in temperatures as low as -55 degrees Fahrenheit. Prior to that, she was in the U.S. Coast Guard in the late 80s to early 90s, stationed in Hawaii and Boston.
While there’s no pool table at her New York base, there is in both Greenland and Antarctica. Annee spends much of her off-duty time practicing. She started playing pool when her brother taught her the basics at the age of 7. But, she really began playing seriously while stationed in Hawaii. She’s made many friends, from all walks of life, and continues to keep in touch with several of them. In Greenland, pool’s allowed her to get to know a lot more members from her base who work in different sections.
“Pool helps me to relax when I’m deployed. We put in very long days in Antarctica, with 12-hour shifts, in often extreme conditions, with an additional hour or more of travel (each way) between the ice runway and McMurdo Station,” Annee said. “Shooting pool helps me to wind down at the end of the day, plus it’s given me the opportunity to meet many of the civilians that work down there, who also play pool.”
Annee first got involved with the APA when some friends who were playing in the League asked her to join their team. Her 8-Ball Open team is headed to the National Team Championships this year for the third year in a row.
“I love the camaraderie!” Annee said. “Even though the competition is pretty steep in my current League, we all still manage to have a lot of fun, with the teams conversing and joking back and forth. It’s kind of like a second family, and although everyone would LIKE to win, I’ve yet to meet any poor losers.”