An American Army Staff Sergeant made news this week when she gave her gold medal from the Invitcus Games back to Prince Harry in the hopes that he would get it to the British medical team that once saved her life.
Or maybe it was because the alluring Sergeant got a bit flirty with the Prince.
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Army Sergeant Elizabeth Marks was injured in Iraq at age 19. She suffered some damage to her hip that’s left her with no feeling in her left leg. She’s still in the service, as a medic–so she knows her way around the hospital. But when she showed up for her first Invictus Games, in 2014, she contracted a lung infection and ended up in a London Hospital.
The Invictus Games are an opportunity for wounded, ill, and injured service members to compete in Olympic style games. Marks was supposed to be swimming in the event, but she was far too sick for that. The condition was so bad that her doctors put her into a medically induced coma.
“I landed in London and became very ill very rapidly,” Marks told The Mirror. “I was in hospital in London and went into respiratory distress syndrome. They shipped a team down from Papworth who put me on to ECMO (extra-corporeal membrane oxygenation) life support and that ultimately saved my life.”
After her condition had stabilized she was transferred to an American base.
“…I was on it for 10 days and ended up waking in an army hospital in Germany having no idea what had happened.”
The trip to Germany meant that she’d never been able to thank the medical teams responsible for her care. And that, it seems, was something she wanted to do in a sincerely meaningful way.
“They absolutely saved my life and I can’t thank the UK enough for having that kind of medical support and taking such good care of me.
So when she’d returned for the games in Orlando this year, and won, she had an idea. Though it is purely symbolic, Sergeant Marks wanted to give her medal to the hospital team that had saved her. So as she was walking down from the podium, she stopped Price Harry (who founded these games, and presents the medals) and handed him her medal. They exchanged a few words, and that would have been that.
But because we’re the American media, and we love an edge to all of our stories–even our feel good pieces–the cameras kept rolling. What happens next seems to be made for television.
The Prince and the alluring American Sergeant seem to get a bit flirtatious. If you were to take these photos out of context, and forget the comradery of the games and the spirit of the event, it would be easy to misconstrue these images.
So what exactly has garnered all of the attention? The images capture most of it. There was a kiss, of course–purely polite, nothing scandalous. But then the Prince was photographed wearing her jacket. And we all know what that means.
Sergeant Marks seems amused by this–possibly because her husband, Coltin Wasil, is massive. He’s not the type of guy that you mess with, and I doubt very many people have ever tried to muscle in on his girl, so to speak. That’s him, below.
As for Prince Harry, who can blame him? When you’re the Prince, you can pretty much take your pick, right? And I bet he doesn’t meet many genuinely interesting women. Perhaps Sergeant Marks sparked something–at least that’s what it looks like.
Check out this next image. It says it all. Sergeant Marks, Prince Harry, and this other guy. I feel sorry for this other guy–he seems to want to talk to the Prince, too.
But no. That’s not happening. And it may just be that Prince Harry is really interested in the pattern drawn on Sergeant Mark’s leg, or perhaps he’s deep in contemplative thought, but he certainly seems engrossed by something.