USMagazine, Tuesday, January 22, 2013, 10:00am (PST)
Apache helicopter pilot/gunner Prince Harry has successfully completed a four-month tour of duty in Afghanistan. The 28-year-old son of Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana is expected to return home to London at the end of the week -- after a quick sojourn in Cyprus -- a source tells Us Weekly.
Harry served with the 662 Squad Army Air Corps. from September 2012 until January 2013.
"We fire when we have to, take a life to save a life, but essentially we're more of a deterrent than anything else," the royal redhead told the British press. "Our job out here is to make sure the guys are safe on the ground. Now if that means shooting at someone who's shooting at them, then we'll do it."
Prince William's younger brother briefly served in Afghanistan in 2008, but was withdrawn after just 10 weeks amid security concerns. Understandably, his royal lineage did not go unnoticed by his fellow pilots.
"It's as normal as it's going to get," Harry said. "I'm one of the guys. I don't get treated any differently . . . I probably turn heads because I'm ginger."
Harry hinted he's already considering another tour of duty in the future. "I will continue to bounce between my army job and the other job," he said. "I've spent six, almost seven years in the Army, and I only planned on spending three."
Though he's excited to be heading home, the fun-loving Englishman -- who made headlines for his nude romp in Las Vegas just one month before his deployment -- isn't ready to settle down just yet. Said Harry, "If you find the right person and everything feels right, then it takes time -- especially for myself and my brother."
Harry also publicly congratulated his brother, 30, and his sister-in-law, Kate Middleton, 31, on their baby news. "I'm thrilled for both of them. It's about time," he said. "I can't wait to be an uncle."