Blind WWII veteran assaulted by flag vandals in Texas

On Sunday, Fox News reported that Howard Banks, a 92-year-old legally blind veteran of World War II who fought at Iwo Jima, was attacked by a group of thugs who tried to vandalize flags at his Texas home.

According to Fox News:

“I try to salute my flag every morning,” he told KDFW/Fox 4 News. “I come out, hold on to my railing and salute my flag.”

Someone then pushed Banks from behind, causing him to fall to the ground. Others later found Banks on the ground, helped him up and called the police. Thankfully, he suffered only minor injuries.

Banks said the vandals didn’t touch his U.S. Marine Corps flag, but did toss his ‘God Bless All Police’ sign across the yard.

He told responding officers that his flags have been vandalized in the past. Someone reportedly cut them down, shredded the American flag and threw the U.S. Marine flag in the ditch, but he never reported the crimes.

The reason is that he is legally blind and was not able to provide a good description of the suspects.  He did hear multiple people running away from the scene, however.

Fox DFW added:

Banks, who was 18 when he enlisted in the armed forces and fought in the battle of Iwo Jima during WWII, is extremely protective of the American flag.

“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.”

“We are doing everything in our power to find the suspects that committed this cowardly assault and bring them to justice,” the Kaufman Police Department said. “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.”

Banks said he’d like to apply a little bit of his own justice to the vandals when they’re caught.

“They’re senseless fools,” he said of the vandals. “If there’s any way to catch them and was able to do so, I’d like to whoop them good with my crutch,” he said.

His family says they intend to install security cameras outside his home and Banks plans to install another flagpole to raise the state flag, Fox DFW said in its video report.

Kaufman County Crime Stoppers has offered up to $1,000 for information that leads to an arrest, Fox DFW said. Anonymous tips are welcome at 877-847-7522 and anyone with information is asked to call local authorities at 972-932-3094.


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Joe Newby

A 10-year veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, Joe ran for a city council position in Riverside, Calif., in 1991 and managed successful campaigns for the Idaho state legislature. Co-author of "Banned: How Facebook enables militant Islamic jihad," Joe wrote for Examiner.com from 2010 until it closed in 2016 and his work has been published at Newsbusters, Spokane Faith and Values and other sites. He now runs the Conservative Firing Line.

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