A 92-year-old World War II Marine veteran was recently honored with a special flight to Washington D.C. after vandals ripped apart his American and Marine flags, and then pushed him to the ground, according to Fox News.
Earlier in July, Howard Banks, a Texas native, heard noises coming from the area near the flagpole in front of his Kaufman home. Banks, legally blind after sustaining injuries from a flare during the Battle for Iwo Jima in World War II, could not see who it was that tore up his flags. One of the vandals pushed him to the ground before running off.
“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 told a local news station.
When fellow Marines heard of the incident, they immediately rallied around Banks, providing him with a special flight to Washington D.C., where he toured the World War II Memorial.
Michael Jernigan, a Marine corporal and member of the Blinded American Veterans Foundation, was one of the veterans who responded.
“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,” he said.
“It’s a shame. You know, this guy is living history. He’s a national treasure,” said Kory Ryan, part of the Honor Flight, “People should be lined up on his porch to talk to him, not ripping his flags down.”
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