Matt Hepburn from San Jose, Calif., has been in the U.S. Navy since 2005. He’s been stationed in a handful of places; some of the notable locations are the Navy Public Affairs Support Element (NPASE) in San Diego, where he deployed with the USS John C. Stennis in 2007, the USS Peleliu in 2008, and USS Nimitz, USS Sampson and USS Chosin in 2009. In 2010, he left NPASE and deployed to Iraq for six months before being stationed at the Defense Media Activity, American Forces Network Broadcasting Station in Riverside, Calif., where he’s currently located.
When Matt first reported to San Diego in 2006, he played a little bit of pool in the recreation center. After moving off base he began playing with friends in bars. When on deployment in Iraq, Matt purchased his first cue online to play in the recreation centers there.
“While I was deployed, I spent almost all of my time in the ‘Green Zone’ in Baghdad,” said Hepburn. “Contrary to what you’ll see in the movies, it gets VERY boring waiting for the next incoming alarm. If I wasn’t working or sleeping, there wasn’t much to do. Having a pool table I could practice on and even play some of the locals helped keep me occupied and pass the time.”
Matt’s girlfriend has been an APA member for a number of years. Last August, he spent a lot of time following the APA National Team Championships online from Iraq, as his girlfriend led her team to a top 100 finish in the 8-Ball Open event! So, Matt was involved with APA as a spectator first. When Matt’s orders called for him to relocate to Riverside in late December 2010, she needed new teams in the new city, so he joined APA with her. He’s now been an APA member since January 2011.
“I think the thing I like the most about being an APA member is that it’s an inexpensive way to have a lot of fun and meet new people,” said Hepburn.