The Ernie Andrus Autobiography
From Bare Feet to Running Shoes is the odyssey of a Kansas kid, a poor farm boy who survived the great depression, served in the U.S. Navy during World War II to help keep this country free, and lived the American dream. Seeking adventure after retirement, he took to competitive running. Running is his passion. Experience has taught him that freedom is not free. Ernie served on an LST (Landing Ship Tanks) during World War II. The LST is referred to by many as the ship that won the war. One thousand fifty-one were built during World War II. There were none left that were operational and in their original configuration. One of his shipmates found one on the Isle of Crete in the Greek Islands. Feeling it important to have an LST in the U.S., to show this generation and future generations what it took to win the war, Ernie and a group of his shipmates went overseas to get possession of it. After months of hard work and red tape, they accomplished the impossible and sailed the ship back to the United States on its own power.
Ernie decided to run for a cause. Hoping to raise enough money to take the ship to Normandy for a memorial service, he ran across the U. S., coast to coast, finishing one day after his ninety-third birthday. At the age of ninety-five he is making plans to run back the other way. The cause is not his only reason for running. He says, “I run for fun.”