93-year-old veteran Ernie Andrus has inspired countless with his cross-country trek. It has taken Andrus almost three years and a whopping 2,600 miles before he finally reached the Atlantic Ocean. During his long journey, Andrus has gained thousands of fans.
Andrus is a World War II veteran who just celebrated his birthday. His journey began in San Diego back in October of 2013.
He is said to be the oldest man that has ever completed such a journey.
Waiting for Andrus at the end of his stretch was a giant crowd of fans! Many waved American flags and cheered him on as he reached his finish line.
“This was great. A lot of mixed emotions because I hate to see it end. I was having so much fun, but I was so glad to put my foot in that ocean and know I made it,” Andrus shared with reporters.
Many of Andrus’s cheering fans wore shirts that read “Run Ernie Run!”.
“This is probably the biggest crowd,” Andrus announced as he called out to the crowd.
Joe Taylor, one of Andrus’s supporters in the crowd called out,
“Thank you for your service, Ernie! You’re and American hero!”
Andrus made his grand trek in hopes of raising funds for a WWII-era Landing Ship-Tank (LST).
Andrus personally sailed on the LST 325 during his time in service. The LST 325 was commissioned in the invasion of Normandy in 1944. It currently sits docked in Evansville, Indiana.
The LST 325 is known to be the only fully operational and restored LST in the world.
Because it is the last of its kind, Andrus hopes to take one final trip on his beloved ship.
More than anything, Andrus wants to bring the LST 325 back to Normandy for 2019’s D-Day Memorial Service.
Although completing this journey is reported to cost millions, Andrus remains hopeful.
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