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'Real hero' Marine backs Harry's return to frontline

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: September 08, 2012

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A Royal Marine hailed a hero by Prince Harry, after losing two limbs in an Afghan blast, has sympathised with the royal's urge to return to frontline duties.

Harry returned to the front line in Afghanistan yesterday to begin a four-month tour of duty as an Apache attack helicopter pilot.

Marine Ben McBean, from Plymouth, who was praised by Harry as "the real hero" after the prince learnt of his injuries on a flight home from Afghanistan.

Marine McBean said the Prince's desire to go to "war" and serve his country was the natural instinct of any soldier.

Mr McBean told Sky News: "As a Marine, a soldier in general, you want to go to war, you know, you don't just want to say I spent 22 years in the forces – where did you go? – nowhere.

"You want to go and to say that 'I've been there'." After losing an arm and a leg during a mine explosion while on patrol, Mr McBean was flown back to the UK for further treatment in February 2008.

Also travelling in the military plane was Harry, returning after his first tour of duty in Afghanistan, and he praised the injured serviceman as "the real hero".

The Marine added: "Even though he's a royal, when he went through training he would have gone through exactly the same as everyone else, so mentally and physically he's kind of on the same wavelength as everyone else.

"Now he's an Apache pilot, again he's going to want to go out there."

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