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An open letter: Prince Harry changed the way I see veterans

Dear HRH Prince Harry;

I still remember our Remembrance Day ceremonies at the elementary school I went to. They would file class by class into the gymnasium until the 900 strong student population was present. The older kids sat on the bleachers in the back, while the younger kids were seated on the floor. Local veterans were always invited and sat near the front. Unfortunately, they went fairly unnoticed.

The exact reason of this is a bit fuzzy as I am not sure if it is just my memory of the events, the fact that as children we didn’t understand the scope of what they had done or the organisation of the day. No matter what the cause was, youth in Canada are not properly educated in the sacrifices veterans have taken. Yes, we learn about all the wars, but living in a first world country with little experience to what the world holds, we just don’t get it.

I will admit that I didn’t understand the sacrifices for much of my life, in part to do with the lack of emphasis put on by our teachers. I am fortunate enough to say that I now “get it” and that is all thanks to you.

Once I started writing for Royal Central I quickly realised that a large part of that was writing about the armed forces. On a somewhat related side note: I have also learnt more about military helicopters than I could ever have imagined. As you have come into your own man, you have dedicated your life to a few causes close to your heart, one of those being support for wounded veterans.

Through writing about your work to bring awareness to the plight they face in protecting their countries I have in return been educated on just how much they have given up. The men and women who without a thought place themselves on the front line, well aware that they may never return, that they may never see their families again, aware that even if they do return they may never be the same if not for physical injuries but mental as well. Months and years away from their loved ones, in some of the direst situations.

This year we watched the Remembrance ceremonies together with our two young children. I explained it to my son (almost three-years-old) and while I know he doesn’t comprehend the gravity of it yet I am happy that he will sooner than I did.

So thank you,Prince Harry, for the work you are doing is reaching people and making a difference. You should be proud.

Sincerely,

Jamie Samhan

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