Blind WWII vet hurt protecting US flag in front of home from vandals

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KAUFMAN, Texas — A World War II veteran was hurt protecting Old Glory, not on some battlefield in Europe, but right in front of his home in Texas.

Howard Banks, who is legally blind at 92, said someone tried to pull down the US flag flying outside his home earlier this month in Kaufman, Texas.

Banks said an intruder pushed him to the ground after he went outside to investigate a noise.

“I walked out, hanging onto the railing and stepped down,” Banks told CNN affiliate KTVT in Dallas-Fort Worth. “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.”

Whoever it was ran off, and Banks doesn’t know if it was a man or a woman, because he didn’t hear the voice. The fall left Banks with a twisted knee and other bumps and bruises.

And this wasn’t the first time he’s been through this. He said a trespasser had shredded a previous American flag he owned and tore up his Marine flag a year ago.

But Banks said he won’t be stopped from proudly waving the Stars and Stripes in his front yard.

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

A spokesman for the Kaufman Police Department told CNN no arrests have been in the case.

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