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Cap. Montefusco returns to Sidney

SIDNEY – Twenty years ago Marine Veteran Captain Scott Montefusco and his wife, Elizabeth, motored from New York City, New York to Salt Lake City, Utah in their wedding car, a 1948 Plymouth Super Deluxe. On Tuesday, Cap. Montefusco drove solo from the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California, through Sidney, on his way to New York City, New York, on a special mission to raise awareness for veterans, first responders and to encourage today's youth to think about the Constitution or consider a career in service.

Per Cap. Montefusco and a Sun-Telegraph story on Sept. 27, 2002, titled "Nothing beats touring the U.S. in an old car," the pair collected memorabilia from New York to Utah along one of the oldest transcontinental highways in America with "re-elect Truman" and "God Bless John Wayne" stickers on the rear window.

The idea to drive cross county again raising awareness is a mash up which came from his original turbulent drive – full of breakdowns, hiccups and roadside fixes with his wife – and the first historical transcontinental drive from San Francisco to New York City by Army Veteran Horatio Nelson Jackson.

In 1903, Jackson, an American Legion founder from Vermont, was the first American to drive transcontinental from San Francisco, California to New York City, New York, in a Winton Touring Car along U.S. Route 30, which mostly parallels Interstate 80 (I-80). The nearly 3,000 mile drive took just 65 days, from May 23, 1903 to July 26, 1903.

Cap. Montefusco is making that same historical drive, in 65 days, to raise awareness for Tunnel to Towers Foundation, a nonprofit organization raising funds to support first responders, law enforcement, firefighters, veterans and their families in a number of ways: more information can be found by visiting http://www.t2t.org. Additionally, Cap. Montefusco is encouraging kids and youth to get involved with service-oriented careers – such as policing, firefighting, search and rescue, military and other forms of first responder careers. However, Montefusco isn't stopping there – he is also encouraging today's youth to read and understand the Constitution so that they know their rights and how to fight for them in the future.

"I want to inspire the youth to to be interested in American history and consider a career as a first responder or in the military," Montefusco said.

Along his drive Montefusco is collecting and exchanging coins from each first responder and law enforcement agency he passes along his route. When he stopped in town, Sidney Police Department (SPD) Officer Tristan Meyer stopped by with coins to exchange with Montefusco so that his dash board could also represent Nebraska along his travels.

"The goal is to pick up coins from each of the stops Horatio made along his journey so that when this jeep goes to auction in New York for The Tunnel to Towers Foundation run – it will be filled with memorabilia from the journey," Montefusco said.

The Jeep, "Little Glory" officially went up for auction on May 19 at 6 a.m. for Tunnel to Towers Foundation and will end on July 29, during a final event three days after Montefusco enters New York City.

His trip, which is called the "Great American Road Trip for Veterans" (GART), gives people the ability to watch and track Cap. Montefusco on his journey by visiting the website at http://www.gartforvets.org.

Montefusco fully restored a 1952 Korean War "Willy" Jeep, he named "Little Glory" and it's this Jeep he is driving across country while he has different drivers from volunteer fire departments, police departments and veterans drive behind him in his custom RV from town to town.

In a press release after visiting Sidney, Montefusco wrote he is unleashing the 'Spirit of America' during his "Heroic journey across the nation to support our heroes."

At the heart of his fundraising drive is the courageous journey of "Little Glory," which is representative of the tough hardships first responders, law enforcement officers, firefighters and military personnel face in their own journey's.

To ensure the success of this grand endeavor, Cap. Montefusco is still seeking volunteer off-duty fire, police, military or other first responders to help drive his camper from one city to the next throughout the rest of the journey. He is asking for help from other American Legions, VFW's and other organizations to offer up a day or half day of driving. To learn more of what Montefusco's needs are, those interested in helping should contact the captain by visiting his website, Facebook site or by calling him at 382-261-4083.

"The custom restored classic 1973 Winnebago, affectionately known as the 'Marien's Dream,' will serve as the mobile Command Post (RV) supporting the journey," Montefusco said.

The cross-country expedition is covering just over 4,000 miles through 52 cities, echoing much of the same path Jackson took during his historic transcontinental journey 120 years ago.

"(My) team will traverse the country, rekindling the spirit of adventure and camaraderie that accompanied Jackson's remarkable feat," Montefusco stated.

The Captain's passion for preserving American history and his dedication to serving our nation extends far beyond his noteworthy journey.

"As a collector of vintage cars and trucks – including a diverse range of vehicles form different eras – I consider these artifacts as part of our country's rich legacy," Montefusco explained.

The Marine Veteran is also starting up a podcast to provide a platform for fellow veterans and first responders to share their service stories.

"This unique initiative will not only chronicle the historic drive across the USA but also amplify the voices and experiences of those who have selflessly dedicated their lives to serving and protection our nation," Montefusco said. He says it's important American's listen to the stories and lives of our first responders and veterans because it brings a spirit of appreciation and thanksgiving to those who put their lives on the line for all Americans.

Those wishing to help Cap. Montefusco in his fundraising efforts, his journey or to add to the memorabilia on his Jeep headed to auction may do so by reaching out directly to Cap. Montefusco: [email protected], 385-261-4083, or http://www.gartforvets.org.

Not only is Montefusco a retired Marine Corps Captain, he is also a former Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Agent, and was a first responder as well as police officer.

The T2T organization is a charitable organization dedicated to honoring the sacrifices of our military and first responders. Through its various programs, T2T provides support to the families of fallen heroes and builds mortgage-free smart homes for catastrophically injured veterans. With a focus on giving back and ensuring that "Never Forget" is a call to action, the foundation strives to make a lasting difference in the lives of those who protect our nation.

Cap. Montefusco will provide updates along his journey to the Sun-Telegraph as well as updates about the auction and T2T run in New York in a future edition of the paper.

 

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