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Blind World War II veteran injured trying to protect American flag

KAUFMAN, Texas – The American flag is a precious symbol to Howard Banks.

The 92-year-old risked his life serving the country during World War II to protect the flag in international territories.

However, he had no idea that he would be injured protecting it on his home soil.

On July 11, the veteran told KTVT that he heard someone outside of his home, pulling down his American flag from its pole.

“I walked out, hanging onto the railing and stepped down. That must’ve startled them,” Banks said.

Banks is legally blind, so he couldn’t see what the suspect did next.

“They could see me. I couldn’t see them,” he said. “I turned and looked in the other direction and about then, ‘wham!’ They knocked me down.”

The suspect ran off as neighbors rushed to help Banks, who suffered several bumps and bruises.

He says he was determined to stop the suspect after someone shredded his previous American flag and ripped up his Marine flag last year.

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