Ernie Andrus is running to raise money to benefit the last operational landing ship used in World War II to land on the Normandy beaches. He and fellow veterans brought the ship back from Crete in 2000 (the History Channel had a documentary on their effort: The Return of LSD 325). Ernie was part of the crew on that voyage. They were going to take LSD 325 back across the sea in 2014 to commemorate the seventieth anniversary of the landing but couldn't raise enough funds. Ernie originally intended the money he raises on this ocean-to-ocean run to be used to take it back in 2019 for the seventy-fifth anniversary. Unfortunately, the funds have not come in as he'd hoped.
But he's happy just to break even, he says. He looks on this trip as his last hurrah. And what an amazing hurrah it is!
And on a somber note, the restaurant who volunteered to cater a free lunch for Ernie and his supporters Saturday is based in Lousiana. Because of the flooding, they had to cancel. So our local restaurants, Halyards and Southern Soul, stepped up to help. Great people and great food! Almost makes me want to brave the crowds and go out Saturday for the party. Almost.
You go, Ernie Andrus!!!