Former royal marine Ben McBean has spoken to Yahoo UK about the moment he lost his arm and leg during a routine foot patrol in Afghanistan in 2008.
“That morning I woke up and I just knew I was going to get killed or injured that day,” Ben tells Kate Thornton during an episode of ‘The Royal Box’.
“Nothing felt right: my helmet wasn’t fitting properly for no reason whatsoever; bergen felt heavy and it was the same weight it had always been.”
Sure enough, what followed would change Ben’s life forever.
Stepping on a Taliban landmine, Ben lost an arm and a leg as well as sustaining a head injury and extensive burns.
After being taken to Camp Bastion for emergency medical care, Ben was put on a plane home. The same plane that Prince Harry was returning to the UK on.
“You don’t have to be physically injured [for war] to have an impact mentally,” Ben explains. “He’ll always remember that moment.”
Harry, then 23, had been forced to cut short his last Afghanistan tour after his position was exposed by the media, putting his unit in danger.
Harry has spoken openly of how much he loved his time in the army. There, he wasn’t given any preferential treatment because of his royal status.
“He didn’t get the job because he’s Prince Harry, he got the job because he was good at doing the job,” says Ben.
“To be an Apache helicopter pilot, it’s not like ‘you didn’t get the grades but you can still fly this absolute weapon,'” Ben adds.
“You have to pass the right tests and be as good as the next man beside you. It’s no joke, he has gone through everything that we have gone through.
“To be such a clever bloke, have such a high-demanding job, to still be level-headed and be a Prince – he’s got a lot to deal with.
“Try walking a mile in his shoes, I bet a lot of people couldn’t.”
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