Prince Harry Praises Wounded Vets Finishing 186-Mile Trek: 'Lean on This Experience to Pick Yourselves Up'

·3 min read
Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex
Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex

Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty

From Wales to London, Prince Harry was with fellow veterans in spirit as they pushed through a very meaningful 186-mile trek.

The expedition across the U.K. began on World Mental Health Day, October 10, as six veterans representing Walking With The Wounded set out on The Grenadier Walk of Oman. Twelve days after their departure from Pen-Y-Fan in Wales, they accomplished their goal, covering the distance of 10 marathons to reach the Anglo Omani Society near London's Piccadilly Circus.

Underlining the vets' commitment and resilience, the organization's website noted, "The team were supported by a Grenadier vehicle for parts of the route. Due to various physical injuries, some team members only walked part of the route — overcoming their individual situations to achieve what they can."

Prince Harry, 37, was the Patron of the Expedition, which was organized to raise funds and awareness for Walking With The Wounded's employment, mental health, care coordination and volunteering programs that support veterans and their families to get back on their feet and contribute in their communities once more.

And on Thursday, the Duke of Sussex called up the expedition team for a private chat to give them some advice for the final stretch of their journey.

"Guys just remember, you have got to hold on to this moment, you have got to hold onto this feeling," he told them, according to the organization's site. "Because it doesn't matter where you walk, or what you are doing. When inevitably we all end up feeling down, a little bit dark, in the weeks months and years to come, you will remember back to this. Lean on this experience to pick yourselves up."

As its name suggests, the team effort was originally meant to take span the desert of Oman in the Middle East, but it was re-envisioned and relocated due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Regardless of the setting, the expedition was both "incredibly uplifting and grueling," said WWTW CEO Fergus Williams.

"Our expeditions demonstrate that veterans can still achieve at the highest level after they have left a career in the Armed Forces, they raise awareness of the vital work that Walking With The Wounded does and they provide inspiration to those coping with physical and mental injuries," said Williams.

According to 13-year Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineer vet David Adams, who was part of the Grenadier Expedition, "It was great this evening to receive a phone call from Prince Harry, and the most touching point is that he really is one of us. He is a veteran, he understands where we are, what the veteran community experience is as well as the serving community."

Prince Harry Launches The Invictus Games
Prince Harry Launches The Invictus Games

Chris Jackson/Getty Prince Harry at an Invictus Games event

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Harry served in the British Army for 10 years and was deployed to Afghanistan twice.

He founded the Invictus Games in 2014 to "harness the power of sport to inspire recovery, support rehabilitation and generate a wider understanding and respect for those who serve their country."

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