Nebraska veteran to unicycle, bike and run through Grant to raise funds for veterans

A Nebraska man is grateful for what the U.S. military has done for the country, and he’s showing it with an eight-day trip through Nebraska.

Bobby “Rusty” Rust, of Blue Hill, has created Veteran Gratitude Ride, an eight-day trip he will make from the Nebraska/Kansas state line south of Benkelman, to the Nebraska/South Dakota line north of Merriman, along Highway 61. The trip is 234 miles.

The 58-year-old veteran will begin Veteran Gratitude Ride on Sept. 1 and plans to finish Sept. 8, traveling about 34 miles a day, with three components: unicycling for six miles, running for six miles and biking for 22 miles.

A native of Superior, Rust served four years in the U.S. Army, four years in the Kansas National Guard and six years in the Nebraska National Guard.

 Three vehicles will accompany Rust on his trip; one to precede him, one after him, and a third one to pick up and drop off the unicycle and bicycle and supply food and water. He plans on staying in Benkelman the night before he departs, Imperial on Sept. 1, Grant on Sept. 2, Ogallala on Sept. 3-4, and tentatively Hyannis for the rest of the trip.

Rust is raising funds for veterans and is accepting donations.

Funds raised will be divided equally among four veterans’ charities: the Disabled American Veterans, Paralyzed Veterans of America, the Wounded Warrior Project, and the Disabled Veterans National Foundation. 

He is an officer at the Hastings DAV Post 9.

The public can donate in through a GoFundMe page set up (search for Operation Gratitude Ride) or through the South Central State Bank, PO Box 157, Blue Hill, NE 68930, with checks payable to Operation Gratitude Ride.

Rust has competed in triathlons for eight years, including the 2016 and 2017 Age Group National Championship Triathlon. In addition to his military service, Rust farmed, rode pens at a feed lot and was a bareback rider, bull rider and team roper at regional rodeos.

The Grant Tribune-Sentinel

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