Harry to head back to Big Apple for awards gala honouring the military

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The Duke of Sussex is to return to New York to present the inaugural Intrepid Valour Awards to five service members, veterans and military families living with “the invisible wounds of war”.

Harry, who has just carried out a trip to the city with the Duchess of Sussex, will be back on the East Coast for the Salute to Freedom gala at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum on November 10.

The event, held aboard the historic aircraft carrier Intrepid, comes the day before Armistice Day in the UK, known as Veterans Day in the US.

Harry
Harry served in the Armed Forces for a decade (Jeremy Selwyn/Standard/PA)

Harry, who served in the British Army for a decade, was stripped of his honorary military roles post-Megxit.

He had wanted to retain the positions including Captain General of the Royal Marines, but is determined to maintain his links with and support for the military.

The Salute to Freedom gala pays tribute to those who have served in the US forces, defending America, with the awards honouring those who have “demonstrated courage and perseverance in the face of great danger or personal struggle”.

The museum said: “The Intrepid Museum’s Salute to Freedom gala recognises extraordinary leadership and honors the brave men and women who serve in defense of our nation.”

Rocker and humanitarian Jon Bon Jovi will also receive the 2021 Intrepid Lifetime Achievement Award for his work as chairman of the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation.

Royal visit to Abbey Road Studios
The Duke of Sussex meets Jon Bon Jovi during his visit Abbey Road Studios in London in 2020 (Hannah McKay/PA)

The organisation focuses on breaking the cycle of poverty and homelessness through affordable housing and shelter, including permanent supportive housing for veterans.

Jon Bon Jovi recorded a charity single, Unbroken, for Harry’s Invictus Games Foundation early in 2020.

Harry, who moved to live in California last year, was in New York at the weekend to campaign for vaccine equity with Meghan on their first major public trip since stepping down from royal duties.

Susan Marenoff-Zausner, president of the Intrepid Museum, said: “We are extremely proud to bestow the inaugural Intrepid Valour Awards to five incredible individuals who have gone above and beyond the call of duty and persevered through extraordinary circumstances.

“It is a core tenet of our institution to be there for our service members and veterans, who are always there for all of us.

“One of the ways we fulfil this commitment is by offering meaningful programmes that help veterans reintegrate into civilian life and build connection and community, including ones that specifically address mental health.

“We are so grateful to Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex for honouring and amplifying the stories of these heroes and helping to raise awareness for mental health support for our men and women in uniform.”

On Remembrance Sunday last year, Harry was accused of staging a publicity stunt when he and Meghan were photographed on a private visit to Los Angeles National Cemetery in pictures taken by a celebrity and fashion photographer.

Those close to Harry said he was not the sort of person to make a stunt out of a Remembrance event, particularly having personally known fellow service personnel who died.

Harry had been denied his wish for a wreath to be left on his behalf at the Cenotaph in central London.

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