The other week, I saw the most interesting thing when I was eating lunch the other day. It was in a diner off of an interstate in the Midwest and I was driving on a business tip when there was this eighty year old man that went out to his car.
He noticed that he had a flat tire and without asking anyone he got out his jack and began changing the tire himself. It wasn’t the donut either, it was a brand new tire he kept as a spare. I saw him doing this and I thought to myself how little stock some people put in the abilities of some of our older citizens.
Put it to you this way, you don’t get to be an old man in this world without having some smarts about you.
Not long ago, a 92-year-old veteran risked his life to stand up for what he believes in. While he watched vandals rush into the yard of his Texas home intent on destroying his American and Marine Corps flags, Howard Banks, a veteran of World War II, stepped outside to confront the vandals and was assaulted in the process.
Now he is receiving the honor he deserves with an Honor Flight from his home in Texas to Washington, D.C.
That’s when he watched a man either trying to steal his flags or damage them. Banks was left legally blind when a flare burst on Iwo Jima, could not see clearly.
This made it easy for the vandal to get the upper hand on the 92-year-old. The crook shoved Banks to the ground and then ran off.
In response, local police are investigating. They want to find the people who tried to mess with the veteran’s flags and who would have a heart dark enough to push an elderly man to the ground as they did.
“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 the local news. “Once a Marine, always a Marine. I try to live that way.”
However, on Sunday fellow Marines shocked Banks with a surprise visit. They came from Honor Flight Austin and offered the 92-year-old World War II hero a free flight to Washington, D.C. so he could visit the World War II Memorial.
“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 Marine corporal told the local news station. Jernigan works with the Blinded American Veterans Foundation.
Honor Flight Director Kory Ryan also got his thoughts in: “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.”