Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are preparing for Veterans Day.
On Wednesday, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s organization Archewell shared news that the two “spent the morning with veteran and active duty service members and their loved ones at Camp Pendleton in San Diego, California.”
The couple regularly mark Veterans Day and Remembrance Day (a memorial day observed in Commonwealth nations since the end of the First World War in 1919).
During their visit to San Diego, Meghan, 42, and Harry, 39, stopped by Operation Bigs — a first-of-its-kind mentoring program dedicated to children of military families, including active duty, veteran, and Gold Star families.
Those who attended ahead of Veterans Day, which falls on Saturday, discussed how the mentorship offered through Operation Bigs has supported their goals and ambitions, as well as the community’s.
According to the Archewell website, the program was founded in 2004, and it helps to connect “young people and families to mentors who can relate to the shared experiences and challenges faced by having a parent or parents in the military when they are on deployment and after they have returned.”
Since its launch, Operation Bigs has helped more than 3,000 children of Navy and Marine Corps members and has expanded to over 30 affiliates throughout the nation.
The Duke of Sussex’s military ties go back decades.
The same year that Operation Bigs was founded, Prince Harry passed his Regular Commissions Board (RCB), the qualification necessary to train at Sandhurst, the royal family’s website states.
His time in the Army lasted for 10 years, during which he became Captain and completed two tours of Afghanistan.
“Prince Harry is very proud to serve his country on operations alongside his fellow soldiers and to do the job he has been trained for,” Clarence House said in February 2008.
In their 2022 Netflix docuseries, Harry opened up about his life in the military, saying that decade “gave me the lived experience that other members of my family wouldn’t have had.”
“Two tours in Afghanistan, flying Apache helicopters on a military base, means that you grow up pretty fast. Jeez, I went to war twice,” he added in episode three.
In the same episode, he and Meghan visited McGuire Air Force Base in New Jersey in honor of Veterans Day 2021.
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“I’m watching my husband over there — you see how much joy it brings him to be back on a base, and he immediately goes back into military banter,” Meghan said.