Sunday, 5 Feb 2023

Harry scorned for claiming kill count as part of ‘healing journey’

Angela Levin talks about ‘depressed’ Prince Harry

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As part of a discussion about his military career, the Duke of Sussex wrote about his time in Afghanistan where he served two tours and reportedly killed 25 Taliban. The publication of the number of people he killed outraged readers, notably among military veterans who claim it is something those who have been to war do not discuss.

While in Afghanistan, Harry flew Apache helicopters and took part in six missions before being pulled from the area over security fears.

The former soldier stated in his book that the “era of Apache’s and laptops” meant he could say “with exactness” how many enemies he had killed.

He revealed that 25 is “not a number that fills me with satisfaction, but nor does it embarrass me”.

Speaking to People magazine to promote his book, the 38-year-old said that silence has been “the least effective remedy” for him and that he is hoping he will remove “shame” and help veterans.

He told People: “I don’t know that you ever fully reconcile the painful elements of being at war.

“This is something each soldier has to confront…we often talk about the parts of our service that haunt us – the lives lost, the lives taken.

“There’s truly no right or wrong way to try and navigate these feelings, but I know from my own healing journey that silence has been the least effective remedy.

“Expressing and detailing my experience is how I chose to deal with it, in the hopes it would help others.”

Despite his efforts to defend his comments in his memoir, SAS veteran Phil Campion, who campaigns for the mental health of soldiers, said that there is a difference between speaking to a friend or family member and publishing a kill count in a book.

Mr Campion said: “You have got to question his motive. Is he trying to sell books or is this a cry for help?

“Where I struggle with this with Harry is shouting it at the top of his voice and promoting his book with it.

“I can’t see a need for him to shout it out that loud.”

Meanwhile, retired Major General Tim Cross said: “These latest moves are very unedifying.

“I have never met anybody who has known or talked about their number of kills.”

Another general said that the prince made “a huge error of judgement”.

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Harry discussed the topic on The Late Show in the US with Stephen Colbert, saying that he decided to share the sensitive information following his work with veterans.

The royal said: “I think the most important thing is to be honest and to give space to others, to be able to share their experiences without any shame.

“My whole goal and attempt with sharing that detail is to reduce the number of suicides.”

During the interview, he continued to accuse the press of manipulating his words by “dangerously” taking them out of context and that the past few days have been “very hurtful”.

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