April Shoutout: Tammy Smith

The Sierra Club Military Outdoors (SCMO) program has been growing and reaching more veterans than ever. Already there are seven Sierra Club chapters that have Military Outdoors programs and more on the way. To celebrate that growth, we're highlighting various staff and volunteers who have helped make that possible.

This month’s Military Outdoors Shoutout goes to Tammy Smith.

Tammy Smith is a Navy veteran and a volunteer with the North Florida Chapter of the Sierra Club. While struggling with PTSD from her time in service, her therapist at the Vet Center suggested that Tammy become more physically active, find ways to get connected with others and get outside in nature. She joined the Sierra Club via Meetup in Feb 2018. Today, Tammy is the North Florida Chapter’s Sierra Club Military Outdoors representative and is finishing up hiker leader training. Tammy has an adult son with Down Syndrome, who inspired her to lead hikes for individuals with disabilities.

What has been a standout moment for you working with your chapter’s SCMO program?

North Florida SCMO has a great group of active veterans that participate in the planned outings. The biggest standout has been the abundance of women veterans! 

The camaraderie with all the veterans happens quickly during a hike; by the end we are talking like old friends. We have also led an all-female veteran hike, and this was a great opportunity for us to discuss our experiences serving. I felt a sense of belonging, acceptance and understanding. It's magic.

Why is SCMO’s work important to you?

I want all of our veterans to have opportunities to experience the healing of nature.

What’s your favorite outdoor activity, and why?

Hiking! Being out in nature and enjoying the quiet or the conversation with a fellow veteran is when I feel peace. 


You can find the scheduled dates for the North Florida Chapter's upcoming events online, including hikes for military members, hikes for people with disabilities, kayaking trips, and more.

Sierra Club currently has Military Outdoors programs in seven chapters – Alaska, Angeles (Los Angeles), Connecticut, Florida, Loma Prieta (Bay Area), New York and North Star (Minnesota). To get involved, you can contact your local chapter to join an outing or for training to become an outings leader yourself.

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