Prince Harry has always said that he wants to “celebrate” the life of war veterans before starting the Invictus Games.
Prince Harry explained what inspired him to start the tournament for wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women in an in-depth interview with Good Morning America.
Talking to host Robin Roberts, Prince Harry described that he felt compelled to assist veterans following his own participation in the army. During his time, he carried out two tours of Afghanistan and rose to the rank of Apache helicopter commander before announcing his decision to leave the army in 2015.
One moment in particular after his first deployment changed Harry’s life. “I’ve been extracted after ten weeks of my first tour in Afghanistan. I’d done everything I could to get out there. After ten weeks, I got extracted,” Harry explained.
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“Literally, being plucked out of my team and, yes, there was an element of me thinking, ‘I’m an officer. I’m leaving my soldiers and it’s not my own decision.'”
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He continued by saying: “I was shattered. I didn’t know what was going to happen to them and then abruptly I find myself on a plane that’s delayed because a Danish soldier’s coffin was being put onto the plane.
“Then, while I’m sitting there, I look through the curtain in the front, and there were three of our mates wrapped up in plastic, missing limbs”. Prince Harry continued that he was instantly affected by what he saw. He also admitted that until that point he had “only heard about” the injuries that people had suffered.
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“That’s how it all started for me,” he said. “There’s a reason why I’ve been in the Army and I would never have left the Army and not done this role. These people are role models and they need to be. It needs to be celebrated more amongst society.”
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