Every morning U.S. Marine Corps veteran Howard Banks tries to salute the American flag that he flies at his Kaufman, Texas home.

One morning, the 92-year-old heard a noise outside and went to investigate. Mr. Banks is legally blind from a flare that took his vision during the Battle of Iwo Jima. He could just barely make out someone trying to take down his flag.

Vandals have torn up his American and Marine Corps flags before so since this wasn’t the first time someone had tried to destroy it, he decided he would do something.

“They could see me. I couldn’t see them. I turned around and looked in the other direction, and about then – Wham! They knocked me down,” Mr. Banks said. He was sure he heard more than one person, but couldn’t make out details.

The cowards then quickly fled leaving him lying in his yard until neighbors rushed to his aid. His intervention did protect the flag, but a “God Bless All Police” sign was thrown to the ground.

He told a reporter that he had to defend the 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!”

He did receive minor injuries from the assault, but a few bruises and a twisted knee are not enough to make him give up. He says he’s durable and can take it, but “If there’s any way to catch them and was able to do so, I’d like to whoop them good with my crutch.”

The Kaufman Police Department is doing everything they can to bring the culprits to justice as an assault on the elderly is a felony in Texas. “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.

It doesn’t matter how you feel about police or our nations Armed Forces. The fact of the matter is that veterans like Mr. Banks have fought valiantly¬†to protect us and the beliefs we hold dear. They have watched their friends die and many have perished to protect their own.

The assault on Mr. Banks is unacceptable. He is a great hero and a valued citizen. He should be celebrated and we should all be thankful for his sacrifice. It makes me sad that anyone would even consider such a horrible crime, but I am happy he is okay and in good spirits.

Thank you, Mr. Banks, for your service. Thank you for encouraging us to take a stand. Thank you for being a part of the community.

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