Local MSP Nigel Don has hosted an event at the Scottish Parliament appealing to fellow MSPs to write a letter to Desert Rat Troops at Christmas.
Currently there are two RAF Squadrons from Leuchars and Lossiemouth, the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards and the Royal Regiment of Scotland based in Afghanistan and Mr Don hopes the letters, known as ‘blueys’, will help to boost morale.
The troops will also receive a taste of home over the Christmas period with 120 cases of Irn Bru donated by A.G. Barr and 100 cases of Tunnock’s Caramel Wafers, which will be distributed through the charity Support our Soldiers (SOS).
Robin Barr, A.G Barr’s director; Fergus Loudon, Boyd Tunnock’s son-in-law and SOS founder Agnes Hunter joined MSPs from all parties, the party leaders and Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon for the event in the parliament’s garden lobby.
Also present was Jimmy Sinclair who, at 102, is the oldest soldier from the original Desert Rats who served at both El Alamein and Monte Cassino during the Second World War. Mr Sinclair praised the MSPs’ united front.
He said: “It was a real honour and privilege to be asked to attend this worthwhile event in the Scottish Parliament. It was heartening to see members of every party put their differences aside to come together to support the troops abroad.
“As a veteran of the original Rats I’m sure our boys will appreciate the blueys and donations from Barr’s Irn Bru and Tunnocks. I wish them a safe tour and come home soon lads”.
Mr Don also said the Parliament’s support was most welcome.
He added: “I welcome the opportunity to enlist the help of my colleagues in the Parliament to show our support of our brave men and women serving in Afghanistan. They should receive their ‘blueys’ along with a wee treat from Tunnocks and Irn Bru on Christmas day. We all wish them a safe tour and return home soon.”