Prince Harry has heaped praise on the US military veteran athletes who compete in the annual Warrior Games, telling them that their recoveries can inspire their fellow service members.
The Duke of Sussex was speaking at a “Virtual Event to Honor Warrior Games Athletes”, where he was joined by US first lady Dr Jill Biden, US secretary of defence Lloyd Austin and Ken Fisher, CEO of Fisher House Foundation.
Both Harry and Dr Biden, who have struck up a friendship over the years, had been scheduled to attend this year’s Warrior Games, an annual sporting event which celebrates “the resiliency and dedication of wounded, ill, and injured active duty and veteran U.S. military Service members”. The Games had been set to begin in Orlando, Florida this week before they were cancelled due to Covid concerns.
Addressing those who would have competed this year, Prince Harry expressed his “immense gratitude” for their service, adding: “It’s not just about yourselves and your families, but you have to remember that you’re doing this also for your brothers and sisters-in-arms, and those people that are in a really dark place. You know what it’s like, you’ve been there yourselves, and you have recovered for yourself. Now you’re leading them to their own recovery, so for that, I thank you.”
Prince Harry, who served two tours of duty in Afghanistan, founded the Invictus Games for wounded former military personnel in 2014 after being inspired by a visit to the Warrior Games. “The Invictus Games never would have been created had I not been inspired by every single one of you, and your companions and families, for everything that you give to the service of your country,” said Prince Harry.
Earlier in the event, Dr Jill Biden thanked Prince Harry directly for his continuing support of the Warrior Games. “You live by a simple principle: Serve together, recover together,” Dr Biden told him. “It’s a philosophy not limited by the flag you wear. Your brothers and sisters-in-arms are connected by something so much deeper than the borders that separate us. You’ve dedicated your time, talents, and heart to lifting up service members from around the globe.”