Just days after he announced he's leaving the army, the royal maps out a new mission for Walking with the Wounded
On Wednesday in London, the royal vowed to join wounded veterans on part of a walk, as he spoke of his determination to do “all I can to help others.”
The announcement came as Harry, 30, launched the latest Walking with the Wounded project that will see a group of five British veterans and one American trek a thousand miles around the country.
Raising awareness of the challenges facing injured and sick service personnel – and helping them find employment – is a key new mission for the prince as he plans life after the army.
“As the memory of our military commitments in Iraq and Afghanistan fade, we must encourage people to continue supporting our servicemen and women, particularly those who are seeking to transition into civilian life,” Harry said in a speech at London’s Mandarin Oriental Hotel.
“This process can be challenging, as it is for anyone seeking a new career,” he added. “As I make this transition myself, I’m determined to do all I can to help others.”
Previous treks have taken participants to some of “the most inhospitable places on earth,” Harry said – among them, “both the Poles and Mount Everest.”
The new walk “will give everyone the opportunity to meet these remarkable men and women,” he explained. “People up and down the country will get to see firsthand the determination and resolve of those who have served, and in particular those who have been injured or suffer hidden wounds.”
For Harry and the charity, a primary thrust of their mission is to help veterans find meaningful employment.
“Whether someone is leaving the services after 20 years or just a year, or having experienced a life-changing injury or not, they are all in need of the same thing: a job,” he said. “Employment is the key to ensuring their independence and long-term security.”
Earlier, the prince met the team who’ll undertake the 1,000-mile trek, and said he’d be joining them for part of it.
Rifleman Matt Fisher, a 30-year-old from Surrey who had his left leg amputated after a gunshot wound, told reporters, “I think Harry will bring a lot to this expedition in terms of publicity and support.”
“He’s a like-minded person who has his own experiences in the army, so you can relate to him still,” he added. “He’s had so much involvement with the rehabilitation process, and it’s good to see he’s on the ball with it and what’s going on.”