Mike McDaniels of Grand Rapids, Mich., served in the Air Force (Air National Guard) as a Non-Destructive Testing Specialist for six years. He’s also been an APA member since 1995! His job was to verify that the parts on the plane were not cracked or degraded. Mike was stationed at Battle Creek Air National Guard Base in Michigan. During basic training and while deployed, there wasn’t a lot time for pool, but he would find a table to practice on anytime the opportunity arose.
Mike’s father was in the Air Force for 20 years, so they moved around a lot when he was a child. His father would take him to the NCO (Non-Commissioned Officer) Club and show him how to shoot pool. At the age of 18, Mike bought his first pool table for $25 at a garage sale. After that, he became more serious about the sport. It was after finishing basic training and tech school that Mike joined the APA. He was approached by the Captain of a local team about joining—the rest is history. Then, while practicing at a bar, he met his wife. She now plays on his APA team, and has for the past 14 years. They play every session—Summer, Fall and Spring! Currently, their teammate Adam Hamilton is serving in Iraq.
The next generation of military in Mike’s family is his son. He’s currently serving in the Air Force at Battle Creek Air National Guard Base as a Security Forces Specialist. Recently, he was deployed to Saudi Arabia. Mike’s other son hasn’t decided whether he wants to go in the military yet, but it’s an option for him.