Prince Harry says serving in the British Army changed his life “for the better”.
The 36-year-old royal served in the military for 10 years – including two deployments in Afghanistan – and has said his experience in the armed forces has made him who he is, and taught him important lessons in “resilience” and “strength”.
Speaking as he took part in the 14th Annual Stand Up for Heroes event in support of military personnel and veterans on ABC on Wednesday (19.11.20) night, he said: “I’m really pleased to be a part of tonight’s gathering, for a cause that is so close to my heart. My experience in the military made me who I am today. It also connected me with some of the strongest, funniest, and most memorable people I have ever met. Once we join this team, we are always part of this team. Once we’ve served, we are always serving, and proudly so.”
Harry went on to praise the “sacrifice” made by those who serve in the military, as he said their hard work is rarely “recognised”.
He added: “In war, you see things you hope no-one else has to see. You prepare yourself as much as possible, but truth be told, nothing can really prepare you. So much was being sacrificed without recognition, and so many lives were forever changed.
“I wanted to honour the legacy of these men and women who have given up so much from time with family, to birthdays missed, and even births missed. Some lost their limbs and others lost their lives.”
The royal also spoke about the Invictus Games – which is a multi-sport event for armed services personnel, which he set up in 2014 – and said his time working both in the military and with Invictus has changed how he views “sacrifice and service”.
He said: “It is for that reason that I created the Invictus Games, to give injured servicemen and women a platform to excel, and reaffirm their values of resilience, of community and strength, which are inherent in each and every one of us.
“Frankly, that experience changed my life forever and for the better. It changed how I viewed sacrifice and service. I was born into a life of duty, but it was during my decade in the army that I committed to a life of service.”