A World War II veteran suffered an injury while defending his home’s American flag from assailants who pushed him to the ground.
Howard Banks heard a noise outside his home and went out to investigate. Banks is legally blind. With his limited vision, he observed someone taking down the American flag flying outside his Kaufman, Texas, home, CBSDFW reported. The incident occurred on July 11, shortly before his 92nd birthday.
Because of prior acts of vandalism, Banks decided to defend his flag. Previous vandals shredded his American and Marine Corps colors.
“They could see me. I couldn’t see them,” Banks told the CBS affiliate. “I turned and looked in the other direction, and about then – ‘wham!’ They knocked me down.”
The attacker quickly fled as neighbors came to his aid. His efforts thwarted the attack on his flag, but a “God Bless All Police” sign had been thrown to the ground.
“It’s the one thing I can cling to. Yet at my capacity, there’s not much I can do. But I can honor our flag,” he told the reporter.
Banks received multiple bumps and bruises from the assault. Assaulting the elderly is a felony in Texas. “I am durable. I can take it,” he said.
The Kaufman Police Department responded to the incident stating, “We are doing everything in our power to find the suspects that committed this cowardly assault and bring them to justice.”
They praised the veteran as an American hero who joined the Marine Corps at the age of 18 to fight in the war against Japan. He survived battles in Iwo Jima and other Pacific Theater locations.
“This gentleman is a hero to our officers and the city’s residents should be extremely proud to have him as part of our community,” police officials stated, according to a report by the Daily Mail.
A Facebook user, Bill Mack, posted a tribute to Mr. Banks.