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Blind WWII Vet Defends His Flag Flying At Home Against Thieves

Whoever thought that in America, our very own flag would become a symbol of controversy and division? There are many people who believe the flag represents all that is good about this country, and they fly it with pride in honor of those who defend liberty and justice.

There are others who believe America has failed to provide liberty and justice for all, and they feel that the flag is a front. They can't in good conscience honor an emblem for a country that has failed so many people.

No matter what you think of the American flag, most of us agree that we all have the right to do what we please with the flag on our own property, or in our own home. Some thugs didn't respect that right, and an elderly veteran whose rights they violated wasn't going to let it go without a fight.

Howard Banks is a 92-year-old World War II veteran. Banks, who is legally blind, flies Old Glory outside of his Kaufman, Texas home. The elderly man lept to action one day to defend the flag when he heard it being pulled down.

Banks rushed out to find out what was going on. "I walked out, hanging onto the railing and stepped down. That must've startled them," he said. "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."

Banks successfully defended his flag, and the thug ran off without it. The vandal then ripped the man's "God Bless All Police" sign off and threw it across the yard.

Neighbors heard the scuffle and came running to the elderly man's aid. Banks suffered from a twisted knee, and several bumps and bruises, but he's shrugging them off.

"I'm durable. I can take it."

The patriot enlisted in the armed forces at the tender age of 18, and fought in the battle of Iwo Jima, Japan during World War II. He still says he's in the daily habit of saluting the flag, which he picked up in the military.

"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 said to CBS DFW.

The Kaufman Police Department is on the lookout for the vandal. "We are doing everything in our power to find the suspects that committed this cowardly assault and bring them to justice.... 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," they said in a statement.

Banks says it's not the first time someone tried to vandalize his flag. He's had people try to cut down his flag pole. Once he found his flag shredded, and another flag was found thrown in a ditch. Banks says he never bothered reporting the crimes.

"If there's any way to catch them and I was able to do so, I'd like to whoop them good with my crutch," he said.

Source: Daily Mail
Photos: Yona Gavino/CBS 11, CBS DFW Screenshots

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