PRINCE Harry has flown into Sydney to launch the Invictus Games as one of its Sydney ambassadors was accused of faking her Afghanistan war record.
Crissy Ashcroft appeared in full military uniform singing Cold Chisel’s When the War is Over on The Voice last year and told viewers “I saw things that I can’t unsee.”
But now Australia’s Invictus Games members have attacked claims of heroism outside the wire by the PTSD suffering veteran as false and called for her to stand down.
“You look up the ambassadors and if someone has falsely claimed something then it just makes things tougher for legitimate veterans,” said one Invictus team member.
Despite the criticism Ashcroft insisted that she will still be at Admiralty House tomorrow when Prince Harry officially launches the countdown to the Invictus Games for wounded veterans in Sydney next year.
“I don’t want anything to take away from the veterans, the day is all about the Invictus athletes,” Ashcroft said.
Online material written by Claxton Speakers and Ashcroft’s friend Kay Danes claimed she was “Australia’s first female soldier to fight outside the wire in Afghanistan with Australian Commandos.”
On The Voice she said: “When I came home I was diagnosed with PTSD. I have triggers, if I hear a car backfire I used to just hit the deck and go onto my stomach no matter where I was, which looks kind of strange in the middle of Sydney.”
Outraged Invictus athletes told nine.com.au that the claims of action as a commando were rubbish and that Ashcroft had never seen action.
Ashcroft posted a message on Facebook confirming that she was in fact a pay clerk and had been “terrified and anxious” the two times she was accompanied outside the wire in Afghanistan. Her injuries were sustained when she fell out of a Bushmaster armoured vehicle.
“Many versions of my story exist in the media, online and in social media that are incorrect or misrepresent what I did. I did not write these accounts nor endorse them,” she wrote.
“However I acknowledge by letting them and media content to remain uncorrected, my story of service has been wrongly portrayed.”
Claxton Speakers has deleted the material on its site and yesterday refused to comment.
The original claims were written by humanitarian aid worker Kay Danes, who claimed she was “just excited my friend was on The Voice.
“It wasn’t meant to go anywhere. It got taken off my Facebook page and it went viral.”
But veterans are furious that the heroic but false version was allowed to remain unchallenged for more than a year and want Ashcroft to stand down as an ambassador.
That decision sits with the Australian International Military Games, the charity which appointed her and will be running the Games in Sydney in October 2018. Invictus Games Sydney 2018 CEO Patrick Kidd did not return requests for comment.
Originally published as Harry’s up for some Games in Sydney