Blind WWII vet assaulted while trying to protect his flag from vandals

A blind World War II veteran in Texas was assaulted while defending the American flag outside of his home.

At 92, Marine veteran Howard Banks isn’t the fighting man he was trained to be during the Second World War- in fact, he can’t even see anymore.

On July 11, the veteran heard someone pulling down the flag, which hangs on a pole in his yard. Venturing out of the house, the aging man was determined not to have another flag of his be destroyed, with a similar incident happening about a year ago with his USMC flag.

“I walked out, hanging onto the railing and stepped down. That must’ve startled them,” said Banks. “They could see me. I couldn’t see them. I turned and looked in the other direction, and about then- ‘wham!’ They knocked me down.”

The trespasser took off down the street as neighbors rushed in to help the bruised Marine, who also twisted his knee.

“On this forearm, it’s kind of sore and rough,” he said. “Both of them. I’ve still got soreness, but I’m durable. I can take it.”

Despite getting knocked down, Banks has gotten back up and is more determined than ever to protect his flag.

“I think we all had that same feeling, that the flag was our identity. We were Americans,” said Banks. “The fact that I’m getting older, and the less I can do… at least I can still do that.”

According to CBS Local DFW, Banks’ property -and Banks himself- have been carefully looked after by his daughters and local law enforcement since the incident. The suspect could not be identified.

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  • Andy Wolf

    Andy Wolf is an Appalachian native who spent much of his youth and young adulthood overseas in search of combat, riches, and adventure- accruing decades of experience in military, corporate, first responder, journalistic and advisory roles. He resides in North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains with his K9 companion, Kiki.

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