Crying with exhaustion and sadness, an injured Afghanistan veteran accomplished an incredible feat – and was rewarded with the sweetest, most heartfelt embrace from Prince Harry.
Kirstie Ennis, along with five of her comrades, walking 1000 miles from Scotland to Buckingham Palace for the charity for the charity Walking With The Wounded, the Daily Mail reports.
Prince Harry, whose explained his passion and commitment to injured veterans in a moving speech alongside Michelle Obama last week, was there to meet the group, all of whom suffer physical or cognitive injuries from armed service.
Ms Ennis was severely injured when her helicopter crash landed in Afghanistan. Her jaw and the left side of her face were bashed in by her 50 calibre gun and her leg shattered, among other injuries.
The brave 24-year-old is in constant pain and postponed the amputation of her leg so she could take part in the walk.
Understandably, Prince Harry was already in awe of Ms Ennis but she had another surprise for him, gifting him a set of dog tags in memory of her friend who was killed in a Taliban attack.
Prince Harry initially refused, saying, “No I can’t, I can’t accept this.”
Ms Ennis, in tears, replied, “Please, you know what this means to me, I want you to.”
Harry then wrapped her up in a huge bear hug, clearly forgetting about the surrounding media.
“This means so much to me,” he said.
Ms Ennis left dog tags in important places during her long, painful walk.
She told Daily Mail, “I had the dog tags made to remember 25 marines, 25 brothers that we lost. It was very important to me even if I can still serve in military in the capacity I want, to honour the fallen, honour the guys who made the ultimate sacrifice. A lot of them were very young.
“Harry was reluctant to accept it at first because he knows how much it means [to me]. He has helped me lay a couple of them and was hesitant to take them as he knows how much it means to me. I told him he had to.”
The WWTW team also gifted Harry with one of their walking boots.
Harry has supported the charity since it was first formed, taking part in some of their treks and as Patron.
The co-founder of WWTW, says Prince Harry can “speak their language”.
“He is somebody they are able to relate to very easily and importantly he can relate back to them. He’s genuinely interested in hearing peoples’ back-stories. He wants to get under their skin so he can take that understanding and experience to help others in the future.”
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