It was the hug that was felt around the world.
Kirstie joined 6 other veterans in a Walking With The Wounded event, hiking 1,000 miles through Wales, Scotland and England to highlight the sacrifices made by people who go to war. She placed dog tags of fellow marines who lost their lives with their story and a poem in various places. But she saved the last one to present to Prince Harry. And brought him to tears.
We hike. But not with a leg that is so compromised that an amputation is scheduled for later this month. And she did that for 72 days. She’s tough. We’ll be looking for this snowboarder at the next Paralympics!
See you on the trails!
A U.S. Marine from San Diego, wounded on her last tour in Afghanistan, talks with NBC 7 about meeting Prince Harry and that hug that was felt around the world.
It’s a journey that began for Ennis in 2012 while she was serving in the U.S. Marine Corps.
“I became an aerial door gunner on the CH 53,” she recalled. “I did two tours in Afghanistan and on my last tour my helicopter went down.”
Injured badly, Ennis returned to San Diego where she underwent 38 surgeries on her face, her spine and her lower left leg at Naval Medical Center San Diego.
Before taking the necessary step to have her leg amputated, Ennis decided she had to make the 72-day journey.
Along the way she was joined by people including former NFL football quarterback Dan Marino and children facing adversity.
She was also joined by Prince Harry. Both veterans who served in Afghanistan, they’ve known each other for sometime
“He’s one of the most genuine people that I’ve ever met in my entire life,” Ennis said.
They hiked together for hours.
Harry helped Ennis carry out her mission of placing 25 memorial dog tags along with way.
She made the memorial dog tags for 25 of her military brothers who lost their life serving the country or took their own lives from PTSD related suicide. She placed them with a poem and their story at sights on her journey, so when people came upon them they could read about their sacrifices.
The most important part of this journey for Ennis was to call attention to the many sacrifices of those who go to war.
Watch a video of Kirstie and Prince Harry on page 2. Click below.