The Special Military Active Recreational Travel (SMART) Club was formed in 1983 and is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. Since then, more than 15,500 people have joined the organization. Membership consists of active, retired, and honorably discharged members of U.S., Canadian, and NATO member-nations armed forces as well as commissioned officers of the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). SMART chapters and regions host musters throughout the year, culminating in a National Muster. In addition, SMART has offered numerous caravans over the years.
The anniversary celebrations will be held at the Event Center in Amana, Iowa, and will run for five days from September 18 to 23. Planned activities include opening and closing ceremonies, membership meetings, first-timer meet and greet, flag retirement ceremony, seminars, vendor sales, classes, games, prize drawings, a photography contest, crafts, and lots of comradery with fellow veterans. Attendees are invited to contribute canned goods for the local food bank, supplies for local schools, and lap blankets for nursing homes. While appreciated, contributions are not required to attend the festivities.
All military personnel (past and present) as well as members of the USPHS and NOAA are invited to join the celebration. Registration is $455 for a 2-person RV, $350 for a single-person RV, and $150 for a guest. The fee includes $200 for five nights of camping in the Amana RV Park. Interested persons should go to www.smartrving.org to register. Persons who register by May 1 will be entered in an early-bird drawing. The winner will have the cost of the registration fee refunded.
Anyone interested in learning more about the event or about SMART can go to the website or call 1-800-354.7681.