WWII vet to run up SR-67 and through Ramona for cross-country fundraiser

WWII veteran Ernie Andrus, 90, stands by his car that has a picture of the restored tank landing ship that he would like to take back to Normandy, France, for the D-Day memorial service.  Sentinel photo/Karen Brainard
WWII veteran Ernie Andrus, 90, stands by his car that has a picture of the restored tank landing ship that he would like to take back to Normandy, France, for the D-Day memorial service. Sentinel photo/Karen Brainard

Invites others to join him in Ramona

By Karen Brainard

A 90-year-old World War II veteran will be running through Ramona this week in his coast to coast quest to raise money for a tank landing ship used in the D-Day invasion at Normandy.

Ernie Andrus of Prescott, Ariz., welcomes anyone who would like to join him on his jog or cheer him on.

“I’d love to have some runners come through here,” he said.

He plans to run 6.1 miles on Thursday, Oct. 24, from the Park & Ride lot at SR-67 and Poway Road to Highland Valley Road and  67.

On Saturday, he plans to run 3.53 miles, starting around 7:30 a.m., from Highland Valley Road to Ramona Fitness Center, 558 Main St. He hopes to reach the fitness center around 8:45 a.m.

Andrus is running three to four miles three days a week. He started at the Pacific Ocean in San Diego and figures it will take him two to four years to reach the Atlantic Ocean near Brunswick, Ga. He stays in a motor home between his runs.

The WWII vet was part of a crew that restored a tank landing ship used at Omaha Beach on D-Day almost 70 years ago. The desire was to take the ship, currently docked on the Ohio River in Evansville, Ind., to Normandy for the D-Day Plus 70 memorial service in June 2014, but the group ran short of funds.

Andrus, who served in the South Pacific during the war, is hoping to raise enough money to transport  the ship for D-Day Plus 75 in 2019.

Andrus said those who would like to make a tax deductible donation can make checks payable to the USS LST Ship Memorial, or sponsor him on his coast-to-coast run. More information is at

www.facebook.com/pages/Coast2coastruns/451518878297515?directed_target_id=0

  1. Anyone interested in joining him for the run through Ramona may contact him at 928-308-5478 or coast2coastruns@gmail.com.
   
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