Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Duke and Duchess of Sussex, arrive for the annual Salute to Freedom Gala at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in Manhattan in New York City 101121 CREDIT REUTERS
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex arriving at the event in New York.
Prince Harry

Prince Harry recalls fond military memories ahead of Armistice Day

Attending the 2021 Salute to Freedom gala with the Duchess of Sussex, Harry said "my experience in the military made me who I am today".

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Duke and Duchess of Sussex, arrive for the annual Salute to Freedom Gala at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in Manhattan in New York City 101121 CREDIT REUTERS
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex arriving at the event in New York.

The Duke of Sussex has spoken of his gratitude for his Armed Forces career and praised the value of the military community.

Prince Harry and Meghan attended the 2021 Salute to Freedom gala, held on the eve of Veterans Day in the US and Armistice Day in the UK.

The Duke presented Intrepid Valor Awards to five service members, veterans and military families, and he spoke of how his military experience shaped the person he is today.

He told the audience at the Intrepid Museum in New York: "I've lived in the US for close to two years now.

"I have to say, witnessing your support for all those that put themselves in harm's way in defence of our freedoms and liberties – it’s remarkable and hugely respected.

"It reminds me of the deep reverence us Brits have for our military as well.

"The armed forces communities in both our countries share a special bond, and I'm grateful to have served in support of our joint allyship for many years."

Prince Harry served in the military for a decade, including two tours of Afghanistan, and launched the Invictus Games for wounded and injured service members and veterans in 2014.

He added: "As we honour and reflect on Remembrance Day in the UK, which shares a date tomorrow with Veterans Day here in the US, my hope is for all of us to continue to support the wellbeing, and recognise the value of, our troops, veterans, and the entire military and service family.

"We and they are better for it.

"I served 10 years in the military, including two tours of duty in Afghanistan – one as an FAC (Forward Air Controller) on the ground and in the dust with some of you, another as an Apache helicopter pilot in the air supporting and talking with you.

"Nothing was more valuable than the time I got to spend with my soldiers in a shell scrape, eating an MRE [Meal, Ready-to-Eat] in the back of a tank, thanks for the swaps, flying a mission overhead knowing those below were safer, or making each other laugh when it was needed the most.

"My experience in the military made me who I am today, and I will always be grateful for the people I got to serve with – wherever in the world we were."