Prince Harry in Colo for wounded vet Warrior Games
Britain's Prince Harry talks with a guest at a reception at the Sanctuary Golf Course in Sedalia, Colo., south of Denver on Friday, May 10, 2013. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski, Pool)
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — Britain's Prince Harry chatted and joked with wounded service members from the United Kingdom on Saturday at the Warrior Games, the U.S. military's Paralympic-style competition in Colorado.
The prince, a veteran combat helicopter pilot, mingled with the 35-member British team and then sat on a gymnasium floor in a circle of 12 sitting volleyball team members, batting the ball around amid whoops and laughter.
The veterans said Harry's combat experience made him easy to talk to.
"He knows what it's like out there," said British Army Capt. Dave Henson, a member of the volleyball team. "He's been on the ground and in the air."
Henson, 28, lost both legs when an improvised bomb exploded in Afghanistan two years ago. He said Harry took a personal interest in the athletes' recovery and the quality of their health care.
Royal Marine Matthew Hancox, 25, said the prince recognized some wounded veterans he had met before and asked them how they were recovering.
"He's very down-to-earth," said Hancox, who was shot in the chest in Afghanistan in 2011.
The prince also planned to attend a volleyball match and the opening ceremonies at the Olympic training center in Colorado Springs later Saturday.
The visit to Colorado got underway Friday night when Harry charmed dozens of dignitaries, British expatriates, students and military officers at a cocktail party welcoming him to Colorado. He also joined the crowd in singing "Happy Birthday" to U.S. Olympic swimmer Missy Franklin, who was celebrating turning 18 at a golf club south of Denver.
A captain in Britain's Army Air Corps, Harry has deployed to Afghanistan twice, and he wore a brown camouflage uniform and tan combat boots when he met with the British team.
Britain's Prince Harry attends a reception at Club House of Sanctuary Golf Course in Sedalia, Colo., Friday, May 10, 2013. The visit is part of a weeklong visit to the United States that started in Washington and will also include trips to parts of New Jersey damaged by Superstorm Sandy. (AP Photo/The Denver Post, Hyoung Chang, Pool)
His first deployment, as a forward air controller in 2007-2008, was cut short after 10 weeks when details of his whereabouts were disclosed in the media.
On his second deployment, he was a co-pilot and gunner on an Apache helicopter.
He acknowledged to reporters he had targeted Taliban fighters, and when asked if he had killed anyone, said, "Yeah, so, lots of people have."