WW2 Vet Injured By Vandals While Protecting His U.S. Flag

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Howard Banks has seen his fair share of danger and lived to tell about it.

Yona GavinoCBS DFW

The Second World War veteran lost his eyesight at age 20, when he was blinded by a flare during the battle of Iwo Jima. While the injury ended his military career, Banks has remained a proud American and an even prouder Marine ever since.

Banks during World War 2.CBS DFW

So it's no surprise he was upset when vandals tried to tear down the U.S. and Marine Corps flags that fly outside of his Texas home. It's not the first time they've targeted him, Banks had to replace his old flags after they were stolen, shredded and thrown in a ditch.

The Marine Corps flag on the left, and the U.S. flag at Bank's home in Texas.CBS DFW

When Banks heard intruders out on his lawn earlier this month, he wasn't going to let them get away with it again. The Marine charged onto his front porch, and he thinks that "must’ve startled them," because the vandals attacked him and fled.

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

It was a terrifying experience, but Banks's community has rallied around him since then.

Find out what happened when his fellow marines visited him on the next page!

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