RETURNING soldiers from 1st Battalion Scots Guards were given a rapturous welcome during a homecoming parade in Inverness to celebrate their return from a six-month in Afghanistan.
The battalion spent their tour of duty in Helmand Province when they were deployed to the Upper Gereshk Valley.
Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel Rob Howieson said: “It is a great honour to be marching through the streets of Inverness today.
“The Guardsmen are very proud of their work and they are humbled to be able to parade in front of the people of Inverness.
“The battalion has had a challenging six months in Afghanistan, and today’s parade recognises its achievements. It also gives their friends and families an opportunity to celebrate their safe return and accomplishments of the last few months.
“We are extremely grateful for the support we received from the local community all through the tour. Each week we would receive a helicopter-load of letters and parcels from well-wishers across Scotland.
“We were sent everything from woolly hats to chocolate and board games. It was very touching that we were being thought about at a time we were so far from our homes.”
Inverness Provost Alex Graham said: “It is an immense privilege to take the salute from the 1st Battalion Scots Guards on their return from Afghanistan.
“On behalf of The Highland Council’s City of Inverness Area Committee and our community I am delighted that we have been able to show a small token of our appreciation to the Guardsmen for their latest tour of duty by hosting a civic reception for them at Inverness Town House.”
Councillor Carolyn Caddick added: “As The Highland Council Armed Forces and Veterans Champion, it is an honour to welcome the Scots Guards back to the Highlands and great to see them marching proudly through our streets.
“The people of the Highlands are very supportive of the Armed Forces in general and this is a great opportunity to demonstrate this publicly.”