Nightly News   |  March 26, 2014

Prince Harry, Veterans Face Down Fear and Freezing Temps

What started as a race is ending as something greater. The courageous Walking With The Wounded teams finally made it to the South Pole, led by Prince Harry.

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

>>> finally tonight, you may have heard or seen media reports a few weeks back that prince harry was training for a south pole expedition with fellow veterans. and the reports of how tough conditions got. tonight we see it for ourselves. wounded vets from the wars in iraq and afghanistan including four americans and others from canada, australia, and the uk including prince harry all of them in what started out as a race. tonight matt lauer has a preview.

>> reporter: antarctica. cold, bleak, unforgiving, and a proving ground for three teams of veterans. they will attempt to ski to the south pole across 130 miles of ice and snow. the purpose, to raise money and awareness for veterans causes.

>> it's ridiculous that a place like this exists.

>> reporter: prince harry served two combat tours in afghanistan.

>> you fight together, you die together, you get wounded together. so why not recover together as well?

>> reporter: but challenging the u.s. veterans is not just a harsh environment. it was their own severe wounds. physical and emotional.

>> i don't want to damage myself anymore.

>> reporter: in 2004 a suicide bombing in iraq left terese with burns all over her body.

>> i was 24 when i was hurt. i thought no one would ever be attracted to me.

>> reporter: out on the ice it's minus 40 degrees. at this temperature you can get frostbite in seconds.

>> everyone's cold struggling to breathe.

>> reporter: after three days of skiing, the teams are just 35 miles closer to the south pole . there are still 95 miles to go.

>> far from the finish line .

>> we're not even a third of the way there.

>> reporter: frostbite, breathing problems, and exhaustion from taken out members of every team. now ed parker , the race organizer, gathers all the teams together.

>> i've decided the race is over and from here on in, we're doing this together.

>> reporter: the teams are united as one, led out by prince harry they push on to the pole together.

>> i'm finishing strong, and that's all i can ask of myself.

>> reporter: what started as a race ends as something greater. a celebration of strength and perseverance against all odds.

>> honor and privilege to be here. very special.

>> we should tell you in the end the journey lasted 13 days . of the 12 wounded vets who made the trek, all of them made it to the finish. we