Since long before any of us was born, the American flag has been proudly flown as a representation of freedom and prosperity.
There is a reason we are always taught to respect the flag, and it involves much more than just appreciating the lovely patterns on a piece of fabric.
The US flag has been hailed for generations as a beacon of hope for the countless people who have gazed upon it because it signifies something and stands for something. However, others believe that America has fallen short of its duty to ensure that everyone has access to justice and freedom. The latter rejects to respect the insignia of our great nation and takes issue with it. While some people fly the flag with pride in remembrance of those who gave their lives defending it because they believe it represents all that our nation stands for.
Now, at age 92. World War II veteran Howard Banks who is a native of Kaufman, Texas, proudly flies the flag outside his door and salutes it each day, despite being legally blinded by a flare while serving his nation.
And because of that, sadly, he has become a target over time. Some people haven’t sat right that this brave man wants to fly in the American Marine Corps.
Reports state that one day while Banks was at home, he heard what sounded like someone trying to pull down his flag. Knowing that this wasn’t the first time his home and flags had been attacked.
Over the years, Banks has hung several patriotic patchworks from a pole and has seen all of them destroyed.
The Marine flag — was ripped up a year ago. The American flag — shredded. His latest American flag? It’s staying up that soon targeted by would-be-a-thieves.
After hearing something was wrong in his front yard, the veteran made his way to the front door.
“I walked out, hanging onto the railing and stepped down. That must’ve startled them,” Banks said. And that’s when he met the perpetrators, caught in the act. But the depraved people chose to go even further with their disrespect.
“They could see me. I couldn’t see them,” Howard said, as things got messy. “I turned and looked in the other direction, and about then — ‘wham!’ They knocked me down.”
The trespassers in question likely saw Howard and assumed him an easy target. After all, he’s now an old man, what sort of fight could he put up?
They assumed wrong.
While the would-be thieves scrammed, neighbors rushed to the aid of Banks, who suffered a twisted knee and still has several abrasions on his body.
Although Howard was injured in the ensuing chaos, he was ultimately successful in defending the flag.
The thugs who were attempting to steal it were forced to escape in panic, but not before tearing down Howard’s “God Bless All Police” sign and throwing it across his yard.
During the assault, Howard‘s knee was torn, and he also had other bruises. Yet he’s a man of tough resolve, one who enlisted in the military at the age of 18 and saw action in the Pacific Theater during World War II. He even fought in the battle of Iwo Jima.
But the legally blind veteran says his eyes will always remain on the stars and stripes — even if it means taking a tumble every now and then.
“I’m durable.” Regarding the wounds, the thugs struck him with while attempting to steal the flag, he responded, “I can take it.”
Howard even described how he salutes the flag every day and has done so ever since he was a serviceman.
“It’s the one thing I can cling to,” he explained. “Yet at my capacity, there’s not much I can do. But I can honor our flag.”
Meanwhile, the Kaufman Police Department vowed to hold the attackers accountable.
“We are doing everything in our power to find the suspects that committed this cowardly assault and bring them to justice,” they said in a statement.
“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.”
Howard‘s family has installed cameras around his home in response to the most recent attempt on his property. Additionally, the veteran himself has a caution for anyone attempting to disrespect what is rightfully his.
“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.
Watch the video report below for more details: