Transcript of 'Service' Invictus Games Sydney 2018 video
Andrew Wilkinson: My name's Andrew Wilkinson and I was a helicopter mechanic or an aviation technician in the Navy for 11 years. Worked on the Sea Kings and on the MRHs, on the new ones that have just come into service. So, the injury I have is medically called a floppy foot. With the nerve squashed in my back, there's muscle degeneration down the left side of my leg, so then there's basically no muscles in the left ankle, and as I run, as I swim, it just flops around, so there's no propulsion, there's no drive from that leg.
So, one of the events that I'm competing in at the Invictus Games is the cycling. There's the time trial, individual time trial in the morning, which is a 2.3-kay loop, one lap of the course, and then in the afternoon, we have a 30-minute criterium. I'll be competing in swimming as well. I'll be competing in the 50m freestyle, 100m freestyle, 50m backstroke and the 50m breaststroke. The classification I'll be in is S10, which is equivalent to amputee below the knee or loss of muscle function in one leg. The thing I liked about the Navy was going to sea, the freedom of it, being at sea. The ships that I went on, I had the freedom of taking a lot of sporting equipment. Then, working on the aircraft, mixing the two together, working on the aircraft at sea, getting thrown about in the roughers, getting wet - it's just all part of the fun. Seeing different parts of the world, which was nice, different cultures, and, yeah, it was all part of the fun. Service, I guess, is to serve, basically, to help out, to put your best foot forward and to do what you're trained to do, to do what you have trained to do to help out others in their time of need. And I guess, to a point, to help yourself as well, to serve yourself, to be able to be healthy in the mind, healthy in the body. But then to serve is to help out others as well get back on track.
HRH The Duke of Sussex [Prince Harry]: Duty and service is in their blood.
Andrew Wilkinson: Yeah, you're pulling on a uniform, you're following a code of conduct, conducting yourself in a proper manner that is befitting the uniform, befitting the state that is given to you by the powers that be.
Sir Peter Cosgrove: But the lives we lead, the freedoms and liberties we cherish, are protected by those who do serve and whose service exacts a very real human toll. These Games are for them.
HRH The Duke of Sussex: Let the examples of service and resilience that you have seen inspire you to take action to improve something, big or small, in your life for your family or in your community.
Andrew Wilkinson: I guess representing the country and serving are pretty much the same.
HRH The Duke of Sussex: And on your return home, I want you to set a new Invictus goal - make a plan about how you're going to use the experience of this week to help lift up all those around you. It might be something big, like starting a new project for young people, or it might be something small, like reconnecting with an old friend. It doesn't matter how big or small your step is. Just take it. And you never know - this may just be the missing piece of the puzzle to help you regain that satisfaction of serving others once again.
Andrew Wilkinson: I think it's still the highest accolade that you can have, that you can be given. It still gives me that nice, warm, fuzzy feeling when I get up in the morning that I know I'm going to represent my country.
HRH The Duke of Sussex: Once you've served, you are always serving.
End of transcript.