Camouflage-clad Prince Harry shows quiet support for wounded troops

The Gazette - Published: May 11, 2013 | 7:25 pm 0

Britain's Prince Harry didn't have a speaking role at the Saturday opening of the Warrior Games in Colorado Springs.

But demonstrating his support for wounded troops didn't require a speech.

The royal headed to the Olympic Training Center Saturday morning in the camouflage uniform he's worn on two deployments to Afghanistan. Known as 'Capt. Wales ' to his comrades, the prince pilots an attack helicopter for the Royal Army.

Saturday, the red-headed son of Prince Charles and the late Lady Diana, spent time encouraging troops to overcome their wounds, visible and invisible.

Prince Harry joined British Army Capt. Dave Henson, a double amputee, on the final leg of a torch relay for the ceremony Saturday.

He gave an encouraging pat on the back to retired U.S. Navy Lt. Brad Snyder - the final torch bearer and a wounded athlete who was blinded in a 2011 Afghanistan bombing - as he lit the cauldron, signaling the start of the games.

Later, the prince pulled on a British team jersey and joined in an exhibition match of sitting volleyball.

For the prince, helping wounded troops is nothing new.

'Prince Harry has supported a number of charities that work in the field of rehabilitation of servicemen and women, including Walking with the Wounded, ABF The Soldiers' Charity and Help for Heroes. Supporting military veterans is also one of the Royal Foundation's core aims, ' according to a news release from the British monarchy.

And his camouflage uniform gets more respect from wounded troops than a crown ever could.

'He knows what it's like out there, ' said Henson, a member of the British volleyball team. 'He's been on the ground and in the air. '

Henson, 28, lost both legs when an improvised bomb exploded in Afghanistan two years ago. He said Harry took a personal interest in the athletes' recovery and the quality of their health care.

It's not just the British who were wild about Harry Saturday.

'For someone to take out the time and come completely across the world to attend an event like this is such an honor, ' said U.S. Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Angelo Anderson, a competitor.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report

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