What motivates a 91-year-old to run 3,000 miles cross-country?

The love of his former ship, which he wants to see sail one more time to the beaches where it once helped liberate Europe.

Ernest Andrus hopes to raise enough money to have the ship he served on in World War II sailed back to Normandy, France for the 75th anniversary of D-Day, and he’s running across America to help make it happen.

Ernest Andrus FacebookRight now, he’s 1,500 miles into the trip, a little over halfway on his jog from California to Georgia. Most of the running so far has been in the Desert Southwest.

“I love to run on the desert. I always did,” he said in an interview on the HooplaHa YouTube channel.

He runs about six-and-a-half miles per day, three days every week. Sometimes, local runners join him for a leg of his trip—he had 51 people run alongside him this year on the D-Day anniversary.

The ship itself, known as the LST 325, was a massive landing ship that could drop dozens of men or tons of supplies and equipment right on a beach. Allied leaders called the fleet of 1000 LSTs, “the ships that won the war.”

Andrus joined a group of aging veterans who acquired and repaired it, the last remaining ship of its kind, and sailed it back to America from Greece in 2001.

Andrus figures he’ll be 94 by the time he finishes his run. That should give him about a year to rest up before the ceremonies begin in Normandy.grandmother-skydives-youtube

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He’s raising money through a donation page at Coast2Coast Runs to fund one more voyage across the Atlantic for the 75th D-Day anniversary in June, 2019.

Andrus is the oldest person by 20 years to make the coast-to-coast run. Check out his progress here.

(WATCH the video and READ more at TODAY) – Photo: HooplaHa video; Ernest Andrus, Facebook

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