We thought we want to honor tennis professionals who served in the military. And ten of our readers have responded, many also with photos. Friends, we salute you and thank you for your service!
HONORING TENNIS PROS WHO SERVED IN OUR MILITARY
(scroll down for some extra photos)
Name: Semu 'Sem" Noa
Town: Carson, California
Profession: Recreation & Tennis Pro
Workplace: Semurana Tennis Association, City of Los Angeles, Dept of Recreation & Parks
How long served in the military? 7 years
Highest rank achieved? SGT
Were you deployed? If yes, where? Korea
Comments? This is where I learned how to play tennis. The best thing the military did for me.
Name: Kim Davis
Town: Colorado Springs, CO
Profession: Director of Tennis
Workplace: Colorado Springs Country Club
How long served in the military? 14 years
Highest rank achieved? Captain
Were you deployed? Yes
If yes, where? KC-135 Pilot in Desert Storm and Bosnia
Name: Steve Kappes
Town: San Diego, CA
Profession: Defense Industry Project Manager (Primary) and Director, San Diego Wounded Warrior Tennis Program (Volunteer)
Workplace: Epsilon Systems Solutions
How long served in the military? 24 years
Highest rank achieved? Navy Captain
Were you deployed? If yes, where? Throughout the Pacific, Middle East, and Europe
Comments. I attribute much of my success in the Navy to lessons learned on the tennis court. Now I give back as a volunteer for the USTA, San Diego District Tennis Association, and San Diego Division of the USPTA, specializing in adaptive tennis for disabled military service members and veterans.
Name: Timothy Smith
Town: Hyde Park, NY
Profession: Head Men's Tennis Coach
Workplace: Marist College
How long served in the military? 4 years
Highest rank achieved? Lieutenant
Were you deployed? Yes
If yes, where? Philippines and San Diego
Comments: Navy was a wonderful experience and also gave me a chance to hone my tennis skills.
Name: Jay Snyder
Town: Harrisburg/Hershey area in PA
Workplace: USTA, ITF, US Open, Prof.Tennis Umpire. First Director of Tennis Officiating for the USTA 1990-93, US Open Tmt Director 1993-2002, Sports Management & US Open Consultant 2002-2015
Military Service: US Army 1964-1967, Rank at Separation 1st Lieutenant, Officer Candidate School Class 6-65, Parachute Training, Deployed with the 1st Airborne Brigade of the 1st Cavalry Division to Vietnam August 65-July 66 as a Rifle Platoon Leader, Wounded and returned to Valley Forge Military Hospital, Final Assignment-Public Information Officer Golden Knights US Army Parachute Team.
Comment: I definitely feel that my military experience was key to my success as an umpire and in my management and administration career.
Name: Cameron Lickle
Town: Palm Beach FL
Workplace: WOW, WOW SPORTS INC, GTP, NEUROTENNIS
How long served in the military? 5 years active duty, 9 if you count the Naval Academy
Highest rank achieved? Nothing worth speaking about
Were you deployed? If yes, where? Yes two deployments to the Gulf in Support of Operation IRAQI and ENDURING FREEDOM. We brought the 31st MEU from the 7th fleet to take over Fallujah in 2004 on the USS JUNEAU-LPD-10 and then another deployment in 2007 onboard USS NIMITZ where I was responsible for the upkeep, maintenance and operation of Number 1 Nuclear Reactor.
Comments? Thanks for honoring us but it was our pleasure!
Name: Motez Robinson, Jr.
Town: St. Petersburg, FL
Profession: Certified Tennis Instructor / Mental Performance Coach
Workplace: Mo Tennis Coach, LLC
How long served in the military? 9 years (5 on active duty; 4 in the reserves)
Highest rank achieved?: E-7 Technical Sergeant - U.S. Air Force
Were you deployed? If yes, where?: RAF Little Rissington, England during the first Desert Storm Conflict
Name: Steve Riggs
Town: Irvine, CA
Profession: Tennis Professional
Workplace: Just Retired from the City of Irvine, Tennis Consultant now
How long served in the military? US Air Force 5 yrs active Duty, 2 years active reserves
Highest rank achieved? SSGT = Staff Sergeant
Were you deployed? If yes, where? I was stationed at March AFB, So Cal and Rhein Main AB Germany
Comments? I'm am proud of my time spent in the military, I love the USA!!
Name: Jack Bailey
Town: St.Petersburg, Florida
Profession: Full-time Tennis since 1988
Workplace: St Pete Tennis Center, Tennis Foundation of St Petersburg
How long served in the military? '80 - '87
Highest rank achieved? E-5 SSGT
Were you deployed? If yes, where? RAF Upper Heyford, UK (USAFE) for 3 years
Comments? Tennis was a bright spot for me personally, as it was an activity that brought me together with guys from all over. While playing varsity tennis for RAF Upper Heyford, and then Mt Home AFB, ID, I was able to forge great friendships and memories!! Once leaving the military, tennis became a REAL career opportunity!!
Name: Randy Beevers
Town: Addison, Texas
I was drafted Christmas 1970 - in Dallas- my Mentor and still friend was Mickey Martin- All-Army (top 4) with Ashe and Pasarell- Samuell Grand Tennis Center 1966-1977- I spent AIT at Ft Gordon in 71 where the Brigade Commander Col. AL GERACI (top Sr player in Army) needed someone to take Stan Smith's place as his hitting partner- all but 2 of my class went to Vietnam - my 2 yrs were in Alaska where in 73 I made tryouts for the team at Ft Myers- so anyway- coached from 68 - now - WTA- Tournament Director 1999 -2002 lots of fun - coaching college and pros along the way- so yes Tennis is a lifetime Sport!
Name: Ed Adams
I was in The Navy (68-69) and formed a tennis team on my base in Lakehurst, NJ. We played colleges around NJ and went to the Navy regional tournament in Philadelphia and Newport, RI.
My rank was Lt. JG when released from active duty in 69.
Name: Gary Machholz
Town: Broomfield, Colorado
Profession: Promotions Manager, Völkl Tennis, formerly teaching professional with both USPTA and PTR certification
Workplace: Völkl Tennis
How long served in the military: Two years USAF, 1975-77
Highest rank achieved: E3
Were you deployed? If yes, where? Grand Forks AFB, ND
Comments? Thanks for doing this!
Name: Larry Lara
Town: San Marcos CA
Profession: (Former) Tennis Instructor
Workplace: La Costa Resort & Spa/86-94, Rancho Valencia Tennis Club/94-95, Carmel Valley Pro Shop- 96-97
How long served in the military: 6 Yrs
Highest rank achieved: E-5 Sergent
Were you deployed? If yes, where? Yes, Okinawa Japan
Comments: Had the chance to play Marine Corps & Inter-service tennis tournaments during my service tour. Great times & made a lot of tennis friendships!
Gary Machholz sent us the below photo. His comment: I am bottom left. This is graduation from tech school at Rantoul AFB, Illinois in 1975 right before I got sent to Grand Forks AFB, North Dakota for the three coldest winters of my life!!!!
Jay Snyder also sent us the below photos. His comments:
I call this my John Wayne picture. We were about to move off the mountain and expected heavy enemy contact so everyone had to carry extra machine gun ammunition. The only time I had a bandolier on...everything else was normal.
This was back in base camp in 1965, our pet monkey was helping to keep bugs out of my hair. We called him Charlie.