Nightly News   |  November 14, 2013

Wounded vets to join Prince Harry for South Pole trek

On Thursday, veterans and Prince Harry officially launched the South Pole Allied Challenge – three teams of wounded veterans who will race across Antarctica. NBC’s Keir Simmons reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> finally tonight, prince harry is about to set off on a race to the south pole as a military veteran he's justifiably proud of his service and he's making the trek alongside some wounded vets. many of them americans. he brought them by to meet his grandmother today. she rose to the occasion. our report here tonight from nbc's kier similmons in london.

>> reporter: a big smile. even a giggle. rarely do we see the queen so visibly at ease. not solemn or regal. clearly enjoying and admiring the wounded veterans setting off for the south pole with her grandson harry. have you been there, one asked her?

>> of course not! [ laughter ]

>> reporter: bethiehind the laughter are painful stories. army captain ivan castro was injured in iraq in 2009 . i joined him in training.

>> the blast had broken my nose, shattered my right cheekbone, blew out my right eye.

>> reporter: he lost his sight.

>> i hate the word "hero".

>> reporter: you are one though.

>> no, no.

>> reporter: he hasn't lost his sense of humor, telling the queen he doesn't like the cold.

>> i hate it. i don't know how they will get me out of the sleeping bag .

>> doing stuff that's active helps me. i'm always going to be in pain.

>> reporter: and mark wise from the fourth infantry in colorado.

>> now can i walk 15, 20 miles in a day.

>> reporter: today they joined prince harry to launch the south pole allied challenge. three teams of wounded veterans to race across ant ark ta.

>> all the men and women behind me achieved so much just to get here.

>> reporter: in fact, it might be that harry was the reason the queen was so at ease.

>> she had a temper. that was brave on my part.

>> reporter: introducing his granny, her highness, a queen to look up to. nbc news, london.