Friend keeps cross-country dream alive

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HOBBS, N.M.- A loyal friend made a pit stop in Hobbs to help keep 98-year-old WWII veteran, Ernie Andrus’ dream alive.

John Martin was a firefighter when Andrus was on his second run across the country.

“I was like well I was going to work for four more years, but honestly this sounds like a lot of fun, so I retired four years early because he actually figured out a plan to do this,” said Martin.

Their journey across America started in 2019, and they made it all the way to Huntington, Texas in 2020, but then because of a hurricane they got evacuated and Andrus, who was 97 at the time, was having some health issues.

Martin ended up taking Andrus’ back home to California, but that didn’t mean he was stopping Andrus’ dream.

“This was literally your bucket list like this was the last thing on your bucket list that can’t go on answered this has to go full circle it has to finish,” said Martin.

Andrus as a 20-day stay in the hospital fighting COVID-19, its unlikely Ernie will get to return to the trip Martin said he feels like Ernie is still right by his side though running every day.