"The parade really means a lot to us"

Soldiers from the returning Light Dragoons regiment have spoken about how important events like today's homecoming parade are to them and of the privilege at taking part.

During their six-month tour the Light Dragoons carried out nearly two hundred and fifty operations, searched 1700 Afghan compounds and discovered over three tonnes of homemade explosives.

The regiment's six-month tour of Afghanistan - the fourth that it has done since 2006 - was not without sacrifice though, with Sgt Lee Davidson from Doncaster being killed in early September.

"As the Commanding Officer of the Regiment I am extremely proud of what we have achieved. Our soldiers work tirelessly through sweltering heat to set the highest standards in every respect.

It is a great privilege to take part in this homecoming parade and I know that everyone of us will be deeply grateful for the support that the public give and at the same time immensely proud that we are finally home, having done a job to the best of our ability.

The parade really means a lot to us and we look forward to seeing our families, friends and well-wishers as we march through the streets."

– Lieutenant Colonel Sam Plant MBE, Commanding Officer of Regiment

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North East soldiers welcomed home

People are expected to line the streets in Newcastle to welcome home The Light Dragoons, 'England's Northern Cavalry', as they march through the streets to mark their return from Afghanistan.