EMOTIONS ran high as the safe return home of 400 soldiers was celebrated by family, friends and proud residents.
The Royal Highland Fusiliers, 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland (2 SCOTS), marched through Penicuik yesterday afternoon before attending a civic reception as guests of the Lord Lieutenant and the Provost of Midlothian.
Proud relatives and locals turned out to wish them well as they marked their return from operational duties as part of the UK’s commitment to the Nato mission in Kabul.
Troops have been providing protection for the Afghan security forces undergoing training, with some soldiers having been away from home for as long as nine months.
The battalion took the opportunity to thank the wider community for its on-going support.
The parade began at 12 noon and marched down Broomhill Road to the Town Hall, where the salute was taken by the Lord Lieutenant and a senior officer of the regiment. During the event, Operational Service Medals were presented to some soldiers on parade.
The soldiers paraded with “bayonets fixed and colours flying”, accompanied by The Band of The Royal Regiment of Scotland, 2 SCOTS Pipes and Drums, regimental mascot Lance Corporal Cruachan IV, a Shetland pony, and veterans of the Royal Highland Fusiliers Association.