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Why Prince Harry meets US vets in Colorado (+video)

Britain's Prince Harry, a veteran combat helicopter pilot, met Saturday with military vets competing in the Paralympic-style Warrior Games in Colorado.

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Britain's Prince Harry chatted and joked with wounded service members from the United Kingdom on Saturday at the Warrior Games, the U.S. military's Paralympic-style competition in Colorado.

The prince, a veteran combat helicopter pilot, mingled with the 35-member British team and then sat on a gymnasium floor in a circle of 12 sitting volleyball team members, batting the ball around amid whoops and laughter.

The veterans said Harry's combat experience made him easy to talk to.

"He knows what it's like out there," said British Army Capt. Dave Henson, a member of the volleyball team. "He's been on the ground and in the air."

Henson, 28, lost both legs when an improvised bomb exploded in Afghanistan two years ago. He said Harry took a personal interest in the athletes' recovery and the quality of their health care.

Royal Marine Matthew Hancox, 25, said the prince recognized some wounded veterans he had met before and asked them how they were recovering.

"He's very down-to-earth," said Hancox, who was shot in the chest in Afghanistan in 2011.

The prince also planned to attend a volleyball match and the opening ceremonies at the Olympic training center in Colorado Springs later Saturday.

The visit to Colorado got underway Friday night when Harry charmed dozens of dignitaries, British expatriates, students and military officers at a cocktail party welcoming him to Colorado. He also joined the crowd in singing "Happy Birthday" to U.S. Olympic swimmer Missy Franklin, who was celebrating turning 18 at a golf club south of Denver.

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