92-year-old World War II veteran Howard Banks is legally blind, but as patriotic as they come.
A day before his birthday earlier this month, he heard someone outside his home pulling the American flag down from its pole. The veteran went outside to investigate the situation because about a year ago, someone shredded his previous American flag and ripped up his Marine flag.
“I walked out, hanging onto the railing and stepped down. That must've startled them,” Banks told CBS.
“They could see me. I couldn't see them,” he added. “I turned and looked in the other direction, and about then -- 'wham!' They knocked me down.”
The person trying to take the flag than ran away, but neighbours came to Banks' aid. The veteran suffered a twisted knee but said, “I'm durable. I can take it.”
The veteran, who was left legally blind by a flare on Iwo Jima, says he won't stop protecting the flag. “I think we all had that same feeling, that the flag was our identity. We were Americans,” he said. “The fact that I'm getting older, and the less I can do… at least I can still do that.”
Police are still looking for the unpatriotic suspect.