World War II veteran Ernest Andrus will complete his run across America on Saturday on St Simons Island.
Andrus, who turns 93 Friday, has invited other runners to join him in the conclusion of a two-year, 2,600-plus-mile journey to raise money for the LST 325 Ship Memorial. A celebration to welcome him will be held at approximately 8:30 a.m. at the finish line on the Coast Guard Station Beach on St. Simons Island. The public is encouraged to attend, dress in patriotic colors, and bring flags and posters to cheer Andrus as he reaches the Atlantic Ocean.
The U.S. Navy veteran served in the Pacific Theater as a medical corpsman aboard LST 124 during World War II. Landing Ship Tank vessels carried troops to battlefields such as the beach landings at D-Day. LST 325 is the only vessel of its kind left in seaworthy condition. Andrus’ run is to bring awareness and raise funds to enable the ship to attend the 75th anniversary of the landing at Omaha Beach, in 2019.
Andrus has completed daily four to six mile relays across the nation, sometimes accompanied by other, usually younger, runners and sometimes alone.
A free meal will be served to the crowd at St. Simons’ American Legion Post 166, 103 Arthur Moore Dr., from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday. The public is welcome.
Runners who want to complete the journey are invited to go to www.coast2coastruns.com and fill out the required release form.
A shuttle will pick up runners at the Coast Guard Station Beach at 5:45 and 6 a.m. and take them to the starting point. The approximate ending time for the journey is 8:30 a.m.
Updates on the run are posted on the Facebook page, coast2coastruns. Donations for the LST 325 Ship Memorial and sponsorship contributions can be made at www.coast2coastruns.com.