Kaufman, TX - Blind 92-year-old veteran, Howard Banks, was assaulted by unidentified suspects after he went outside to confront people vandalizing his flag.
The incident occurred on July 11, one day before the birthday of the World War II veteran, according to ABC13. Banks, who served in the U.S. Marine Corps as a gunner, said that he is legally blind but that his mind is as alert as it ever was.
“I walked out, hanging onto the railing, and stepped down. That must’ve startled them," Banks said. “They could see me. I couldn’t see them. I turned and looked in the other direction, and about then - wham! One of them knocked me down!"
This was the second time that someone had tampered with his flags. There was another incident, about a year ago, according to Fox8live. In that incident, someone 'shredded' his American flag, and cut his Marine Corps flag. Banks said that he did not report the first incident, but that he was not about to allow it to happen again.
Neighbors rushed to help Banks, who received minor injuries of 'bumps and bruises'. He said that his knee was 'twisted', and his forearm was a little rough, but incidents like these won't keep a good man down, either.
The veteran said that he would like to decide the judgment if the suspects were caught, "If there's any way to catch them and was able to do so, I'd like to whoop them good with my crutch."
Banks said that it is his life's mission, "to honor veterans who sacrifice and serve."
"I think we all had that same feeling, that that flag was our identity. We were Americans, The fact that I’m getting older, and the less I can do, at least I can still do that.”
Howard Banks was 18 when he enlisted in the military, and fought in the battle of Iwo Jima, according to The Daily Mail. He said that he salutes the flag every day while holding on to the railing for support.
No suspects have been identified, and Banks didn't see who attacked him. He said that there was no damage to his flag, but that his "God Bless All Police" sign had been pulled up and thrown across the yard. His family said that they are installing cameras around the veteran's property.
In a statement, the Kaufman Police Department said, "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."