Prince Harry hugged a wounded hero today as he hailed American and British veterans at the launch, with First Lady Michelle Obama, of the Invictus Games 2016.
The prince, a veteran of the war against the Taliban, put his arms round US Marine Sergeant Roderic Liggens as he and Mrs Obama toured the USO Warrior and Family Center at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, close to Washington D.C.
His hug with Sgt Liggens came as he spoke of the need for more help for those suffering 'invisible injuries', including the Marine, who is an eight-year veteran being given behavioral therapy at the center.
Those traumatized by war were also the theme of Mrs Obama, who was supported by Dr Jill Biden, vice-president Joe Biden's wife as the three launched the 2016 Invictus Games.
The games, for wounded service personnel of both countries and others, first took place in London last year. They are based on the Warrior Games which took place in Colorado in 2013.
Harry, whose sister-in-law the Duchess of Cambridge has long championed mental well-being, said: 'One thing we have to talk about more is breaking down these barriers around so-called invisible injuries, like post-traumatic stress, just as we have for physical injuries like the loss of a limb.
Hug for a hero: Prince Harry embraces US Marine Sergeant Roderic Liggens as he launches the Invictus Games at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, today, with First Lady Michelle Obama. The eight-year veteran, a father of one, is being treated for mental health issues
Brothers in arms: Prince Harry greets US Marine Sergeant Roderic Liggens at the USO Warrior and Family Center outside Washington DC today.
Comrades embrace: US Marine Sergeant and Prince Harry - who served as Captain Harry Wales in the UK Army Air Corps, flying Apaches against the Taliban - meet in the music room of the USO Warrior and Family Center at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, while First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr Jill Biden meet US Marine Colonel Shane Tomko
Performance: Marine Sgt Liggens performed on the drums for the Prince, the First Lady and the vice-president's wife at the USO Center
Salute: Prince Harry met members of wheelchair basketball teams at the center. Among them were US Marine Christopher Cowan, 21, from Jacksonville, Alabama, who was lost his leg below the knee in July 2015. 'Doing things like this shows you can still get out there and still compete just the same,' he said
Greetings: Michelle Obama was first into the basketball hall to greet members of the wheelchair basketball team - and joked: 'All right ladies, Prince Harry is here - don't pretend you didn't notice!'