Home News Feeling down after being assaulted, WWII Marine learns of Honor Flight

Feeling down after being assaulted, WWII Marine learns of Honor Flight


A 92-year-old World War II veteran in Kaufman, Tx., was feeling down after being roughed up and having his United States and Marines Corps flags disrespected

That is until a group of Marines heard Howard Banks’ story and jumped into action.

KDFW News reports Banks heard noises coming from the flagpole out front and went to find out what was going on. He says that when he discovered vandals had shredded and his flags and thrown them in a ditch.

While outside, Banks tells KDFW News, merciless thugs pushed him to the ground then ran away without being seen.

“We’ve honored our flag all that time and doggone it, with our political climate the way that it is, we need something to rally around — and that’s our flag,” Banks, who was just 20 years old when he was blinded by a flare on Iwo Jima, tells KDFW News.

Luckily enough, his Marine brothers feel the same way.

KDFW News reports when Marines who toured in Iraq and Afghanistan heard Banks’ story — they knew they had to meet him.

“You know, first, you start messing with the American flag, I get real hot under the collar. And then, when I found out that they yanked the Marine Corps flag down, that made my bottom spicy,” Michael Jernigan, a Corporal in the Marines who works with the Blinded American Veterans Foundation, tells KDFW News.

“It’s a shame,” Kory Ryan with Honor Flight Austin tells KDFW News. “You know, this guy is living history. He’s a national treasure. People should be lined up on his porch to talk to him, not ripping his flags down.”

On Sunday afternoon, Banks and Ryan spent time swapping stories. Then Ryan hit Banks with surprise — an Honor Flight to Washington D.C. to see the World War II memorial.

“Once a Marine, always a Marine. I try to live that way,” Banks tells KDFW News.

Banks tells KDFW News he now has cameras on his property and that police are investigating the attack.

Jernigan says if you don’t like the flag — find the door.

“We need to respect our flag. That is a symbol of our country. It is a symbol of what we stand for as a beacon of hope for liberty in this world, and if you can’t respect that, then we don’t really want you here,” Jernigan tells KDFW News.

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