Queen Elizabeth honors 95-year-old Ghanaian veteran

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth has honored a Ghanaian war veteran, Pvt. Joseph Hammond, who walked 14 miles to raise money for frontline workers and veterans in Africa.

The 95-year-old veteran said he was “overwhelmed with joy” after being honored with a Point of Light award, presented by the Queen to volunteers from the Commonwealth who positively impact their communities.

“This will linger in my memory forever. I wish to thank the mother of the Commonwealth, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and all those who have made this possible,” Hammond said.

Hammond has raised nearly $50,000 walking two miles per day for a week to help buy coronavirus protective gear for health workers and veterans in Commonwealth countries, a 53-member group of mostly British former colonies, according to a statement by the award organizers.

Hammond also earned praise from the UK high commissioner in Ghana, Iain Walker.

“It has been a privilege to get to know Private Hammond and to experience his selflessness. He is a force of nature and an inspiration to many, including me,” he said.

Hammond met with the Queen and members of the royal family, including Prince Harry, last year during a celebration for Commonwealth soldiers in the UK.

Prince Harry also applauded the veteran’s fundraising initiative, saying in a personal letter to Hammond this month that it was “an honor and a pleasure” to have met with the veteran.

“Given the service and selflessness you have demonstrated throughout your life, it does not surprise me that you would take on a challenge such as this — and that you wanted to walk even more miles,” Prince Harry wrote.

Hammond told CNN he was inspired by the story of the UK’s Col. Tom Moore, a fellow veteran whose walk raised more than $40 million (32.7 million pounds) for the country’s National Health Service, and he set out to do the same for health care workers across the African continent.

Both Hammond and Moore fought in Myanmar, then known as Burma, in World War II.

Source: CNN By Anita Patrick