Prince Harry defended by Rae following military uniform ban
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Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex received a desperate letter from a family whose son, who developed PTSD after saving lives in Afghanistan and was later found hanged at his home, will not be added to the national Armed Forces Memorial.
The memorial, at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire, showcases the names of more than 16,000 members of the armed forces killed since the end of World War 2.
Nathan Hunt, a Royal Engineers Warrant Officer, served alongside the Duke of Sussex, 37, in Helmand as part of a desert reconnaissance unit.
While the memorial includes the names of three soldiers who took their lives after serving in Afghanistan, the MoD ruled in May that Nathan’s name should not be engraved.
Mr Hunt was 39 when he was found dead.
A psychiatric report produced after his death stated he suffered “traumatic exposure” in Afghanistan and experienced “some elements of PTSD”.
Lieutenant General James Swift, however, claimed his death, “on the balance of probabilities”, was not directly linked to his service.
Mr Hunt’s parents’ appeal against the decision was turned down in September.
Heartbroken Derek and Maria, who met the Sussexes at an event in London in 2018, said to the Duke in the letter: “Nathan was a dedicated professional soldier who gave everything in the service of his country.
“We believe he was a casualty of war and he died of mental wounds sustained during his service in Afghanistan.
“You have always been a champion of veterans and we hope that your influence might help the Ministry of Defence to change its policy and add Nathan’s name to the memorial wall.”
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Derek told the Sunday People: “Nathan’s medical reports show his condition deteriorated after he returned from Afghanistan.
“He was a dedicated soldier who spent 23 years in the Army.
“Nathan’s job was to find bombs and he did it brilliantly, often under fire from the Taliban. But it took a toll.
“Nathan might not have come back with physical injuries, but he was mentally wounded.
“And those mental wounds took his life. As far as we are concerned, he was a casualty of war.”
He added: “Everyone who worked with Nathan knew he was selfless and committed.
“The very least the Ministry of Defence could do would be to add his name to the war memorial so that our family and his descendants will be able to see the sacrifice he made in the service of his country.
“Prince Harry appreciated the sacrifice that Nathan made.
“It’s just a shame the MoD can’t do the same.
“I can’t understand why they are being so heartless.”
Nathan’s parents shared the letter they wrote to Harry this week. It is unknown whether the Duke has received it or replied to it.
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