World

May 9, 2012

Prince Harry calls for unity in supporting wounded warriors

by Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

Great Britain’s Prince Henry of Wales, commonly known as Prince Harry, urged the U.S. and British publics last night to unify in supporting wounded warriors and families of the fallen, particularly as the drawdown of military operations in Afghanistan takes the media spotlight off their continuing needs.

Prince Harry accepted the Atlantic Council’s Distinguished Humanitarian Leadership Award for charitable work he and his brother, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, conduct for wounded British service members and veterans. He also urged closer cooperation between the United States and the United Kingdom in providing their countries’ veterans and families long-term support.

“So many lives have been lost and so many changed forever by the wounds that they have suffered,” the prince told a black-tie gathering of almost 900 former and current administration officials, members of Congress, ambassadors and business leaders at last night’s annual awards dinner.

“They have paid a terrible price to keep us safe and free,” he continued. “The very least we owe them is to make sure that they and their brave families have everything they need through the darkest days – and in time, regain the hope and confidence to flourish again.”

Prince Harry acknowledged that difficult times endure long after the battlefield. “For these selfless people, it is after the guns have fallen silent, the din of battle quietened, that the real fight begins – a fight that may last for the rest of their lives,” he said. “We must be there for our servicemen and -women and their families, standing shoulder to shoulder with them always.”

It’s a fight he said will continue long after coalition forces withdraw from Afghanistan and with them, media coverage. “They will no longer be at the forefront of our minds,” he acknowledged. “But the injuries left from a 7.62 bullet, an [improvised explosive device], watching a fellow comrade injured or killed – these are experiences that remain with you for life, both physically and mentally.”

He called on the United States and Great Britain to remain united, as they have throughout operations in Afghanistan, in supporting their needs.

“British and American forces train together, fight together and tragically, some are wounded and some die together,” “It makes perfect sense to me, therefore, that we should, whenever possible and appropriate, work together by pooling our expertise and experience to heal and support the wounded veterans of both our nations – truly, brothers- and sisters-in-arms.”

A British army captain who served in Afghanistan, Prince Harry called it “truly humbling and a little bit terrifying” to be introduced at last night’s dinner by former Secretary of State and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, retired Army Gen. Colin Powell.

Powell joked about the paparazzi and fans who gathered around the hotel that hosted last night’s dinner to catch a glimpse of British royalty, and the unprecedented number of young, single women in attendance.

Turning serious, he recognized Prince Harry for forfeiting a far easier life to dedicate himself to serving others, including his military service as an Apache helicopter pilot.

Harry accepted the Atlantic Council’s prestigious Distinguished Humanitarian Leadership Award on behalf of his brother, William, and the Foundation they both run for wounded warriors, veterans and military families and “all those on both sides of the Atlantic who work so tirelessly to support our wounded veterans.”

“We have tried to do what we can to ensure that servicemen and -women and their families leave the military with purpose, with hope and with confidence,” he told the gathering. “Whether in their working environments or in the wider community, these fine people – examples to us all – have an invaluable contribution to make.”

It is especially for them that Harry said he accepted last night’s honors. “This is their award,” he said.

Harry visited wounded British and U.S. service members who participated in this year’s Warrior Games competition earlier yesterday at the British embassy. The Warrior Games, which wrapped up May 5 in Colorado Springs, Colo., included 200 wounded service members and veterans.

The prince recognized the extraordinary achievements other wounded warriors have made and noted that last year he struggled to keep up with four British soldiers who, despite being gravely wounded in Afghanistan, became the fastest team to trek the North Pole that season.

Another team of wounded troops are returning from Mount Everest where dangerous conditions created by unseasonably warm weather deterred their attempt to reach the summit. “The mere fact that they are up there on that fearsome peak, I find totally amazing,” he said.

“These people – ours and yours – are extraordinary,” he concluded.

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

NATO ups military presence amid Russian threat

NATO is strengthening its military footprint along its eastern border immediately in response to Russia’s aggression in Ukraine, the alliance’s chief said April 16. Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said NATO’s air policing aircraft will fly more sorties over the Baltic region west of Ukraine, far from the tensions in the eastern part of the...
 
 

Ukrainian officers join NATO drills in Bulgaria

NOVO SELO, Bulgaria – Lt. Col. Valeria Parada had a challenge. She and her team were responsible for rescuing people caught up in a dangerous situation around the Black Sea and making sure they received whatever humanitarian assistance they needed. To do that, she first had to learn how to coordinate among the air, navy...
 
 

Republic of Korea Selects Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II

The Republic of Korea has formally selected the Lockheed Martin ) F-35 Lightning II aircraft for its F-X fighter acquisition program.  “We are honored by and appreciate the trust and confidence the Republic of Korea has placed in the 5th Generation F-35 to meet its demanding security requirements. We look forward to supporting the discussions between...
 

 

U.S. will beef up air operations in Poland

More U.S. F-16 Fighting Falcons will deploy to Poland in the coming days and weeks, a Pentagon official said March 10. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Polish Defense Minister Tomasz Siemoniak spoke yesterday, and Siemoiniak thanked the secretary for looking at options for basing, said Army Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman. “No decision [have been...
 
 

Six F-15s, KC-135 to augment NATO mission in Baltics

Following Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s announcement March 5 during Senate testimony that the United States is augmenting its participation in NATO’s air policing mission in the Baltics and will increase joint training through its aviation detachment in Poland, a defense official provided additional information. In a statement provided on background, the official said the United...
 
 

Three U.S. military aircraft hit in S. Sudan, 4 wounded

Gunfire hit three U.S. military aircraft trying to evacuate American citizens in a remote region of South Sudan that Dec. 21 became a battle ground between the country’s military and renegade troops, officials said. Four U.S. service members were wounded in the attack in the same region where gunfire downed a U.N. helicopter the day...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>