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Student Designs Earth Day T-shirt While Serving in Afghanistan

T-shirt design by Dustin SmartA University of Iowa student now deployed to Afghanistan with the Air National Guard is helping to save the planet while serving his country.

Dustin Smart, a senior graphic design major in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, has been serving in Afghanistan with the air guard. In between shifts, he designed the T-shirt that won a contest created by marketing students at the Tippie College of Business for local clothier Active Endeavors. The store is selling the shirt as part of an annual Earth Day fundraiser for the Johnson County Heritage Trust (JCHT).

“It definitely helped to pass the time,” says Smart, a native of Marion, Iowa. He arrived in Afghanistan in November and works as a weapons specialist, loading bombs, missiles, and machine gun ammunition on F-16 fighters. He has temporarily withdrawn from the university while deployed but plans to re-enroll when he returns later this spring.

Smart’s winning “Hawkeyes for the Planet” design is an illustration of a tree full of Tigerhawks. The shirts, made from organic materials, are on sale now for $19.99 at Active Endeavors in downtown Iowa City, with $5 benefitting the JCHT. They also can be purchased online at

This is the third year of the partnership between the Tippie marketing students, Active Endeavors, and the JCHT. The two other fundraisers have raised about $500 for the trust, which uses the proceeds to support local conservation efforts. This includes preserving nearby prairies, woodlands, and wetlands for future generations. The organization maintains eight local natural areas and 11 conservation easements.

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