Prince Harry’s had a busy day. After touring the USO Warrior and Family Center at the Fort Belvoir military base in Fairfax County, Va., with Michelle Obama, the royal met with President Barack Obama in the Oval Office.
Obama and Harry had a private meeting where they discussed Harry’s involvement with the 2016 Invictus Games and his campaign to help wounded veterans before addressing the media.
“It is a great pleasure to welcome His Royal Highness Prince Harry here to the Oval Office,” Obama told reporters. “I’ve had an opportunity to spend a lot of time with so many of his family members, but this is the first time that we had a chance to talk directly. He has gotten to know Michelle very well,” he joked, “For a range of reasons, but in particular, he’s here to talk about the Invictus Games, an initiative that is bringing together wounded warriors around the world, under the leadership of Prince Harry and others, to make sure that we see not simply the sacrifices they’ve made, but also the incredible contributions, strength, and courage they continue to display.”
Prince Harry was especially gracious for the visit. “We had huge amounts of fun designing the Invictus Games based around stealing the Warrior Games off yourselves and making it international, making it better, and now we’re giving it back to you,” Prince William’s younger brother told the room of reporters. “So we’re really looking forward to the 8th through 12th of May, and hoping to see as many people as possible come down and support all our wounded warriors together.”
While at the Embassy, Harry, 31, recalled his own experience at war. “In February 2008, at the end of my first tour of Afghanistan, I traveled home on an aircraft carrying three seriously injured British Soldiers and the coffin of a Danish Soldier. Seeing these young guys — much younger than me — wrapped in plastic and missing limbs with hundreds of tubes coming out of them, was something I never prepared myself for. For me, this is where it all started. From that moment, I was committed to doing all I could to ensure that those men and women, who had sacrificed so much for their countries, would receive the recognition and support they deserved.”
The U.S. will host the 2016 Invictus Games at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla., in May. The Invictus Games are a sporting event for injured active duty and veteran service members.
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