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'It's always in there': Prince Harry says he gets flashbacks from Afghanistan

The former Captain Wales revealed in a recent interview that he suffers flashbacks from his time serving in Afghanistan, where he was a helicopter pilot.
/ Source: TODAY

Prince Harry, a British Army veteran who served two tours of duty in Afghanistan, says he still gets flashbacks from his time in combat.

“I described it to someone ages ago as one of those slideshows that go through your mind,” he recently told Sky News. “If you’ve got a good imagination as well, everything that you see, especially if it’s something that is quite powerful, then that slide is in there.”

Prince Harry wearing his combat fatigues
Prince Harry, in an October 2012 photo from Afghanistan's Helmand Province, where he served as an Apache helicopter pilot and gunner.JOHN STILLWELL / AFP-Getty Images

Harry said the memories usually resurface in times of stress.

“It’s always in there, and if you have dark moments in your life those slides will pop up,” he said during an interview promoting the Invictus Games, a Paralympic-style event for wounded service members he champions.

Prince Harry in the front seat of his Apache helicopter
Prince Harry, in the front seat of his Apache helicopter in November 2012.JOHN STILLWELL / AFP/Getty Images

The next Invictus Games, which the prince launched two years ago in London create, will begin on May 8 in Orlando.

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Prince Harry retired from a 10-year military career last June. Known as Captain Harry Wales, the prince was first deployed to Afghanistan in late 2007 as a forward air controller. He spent three years working his way up to become an Apache Aircraft Commander. He served his second operational tour of Afghanistan from September 2012 through January 2013.

Prince Harry speaks with members of a wheelchair sporting team
Prince Harry, in March 2014, talks with wheelchair basketball players during the launch of the Invictus Games.Max Mumby / Getty Images Contributor

“You know there are images I’ve been lucky enough not to see, but there have been images that I’ve been unfortunate to see, nothing like some of these guys, but, yes, there is a percentage of me being able to relate to exactly what they go through,” he told Sky News.

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The prince also emphasized the importance of post-combat counseling for all servicemen and paying attention to mental health concerns.

"The Army put you through a day, two-day course on the way back through Cyprus, which is crucial to everybody," he said.

Prince Harry heads to North America next week in preparation for the Invictus Games. He will first visit Toronto, the site of the next year’s event, before heading to Florida.

Follow writer Eun Kyung Kim on Twitter.

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