Glasgow welcomes back hero soldiers in homecoming parade

Soldiers of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards received a heroes welcome today as part of a homecoming parade through the streets of Glasgow.

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Families and friends in a crowd estimated at 1500 people looked on as the troops marched through the city centre and grey, drizzly weather certainly didn't dampen the celebratory mood.

The 200 soldiers - from Scotland's only cavalry regiment - were welcomed home with cheers and waving flags after their return from operational duties in Afghanistan.

After six months deployed in Kabul, the regiment returned to their permanent base in Fallingbostel, Germany in February this year.

Today's homecoming gave them the chance to parade through the streets of Glasgow to show thanks for the support members of the public have given them and to celebrate with the community.

The parade started in Holland Street and finished in George Square, where a saluting dais was waiting outside the City Chambers, with Glasgow Lord Provost Sadie Docherty among those saluting the soldiers.

One of the soldiers, 22-year-old Trooper Colin Qua from Ayr, was reunited with his son Harly, who is 11-months-old.

Trooper Qua said: "It's great to be home.

"To see so many people here to welcome us back means a lot to us.

"They don't know what we are doing out there but they appreciate us and it's really nice to be appreciated."

After spending time with friends and family today, the unit will return to Germany to prepare for significant changes.

Under Army 2020 restructuring, the regiment's role will change from a Heavy Cavalry Regiment with Challenger 2 Battle Tanks to a Light Cavalry Regiment using Jackal Armoured Vehicles.

It will then prepare to move from Germany to RAF Leuchars in 2015.

Trooper Qua added: "Moving to Leuchars will be fantastic.

"It will mean I can go home at weekends to see my wee boy.

"Harly is almost one, but I've really only been around him for two of those 11 months.

"It will be brilliant to be closer to home from next year."


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