A FORMER Stirling woman had the opportunity to reunite with friends and family after 20 years away from the area, during an event paying tribute to service personnel. 

Suzanne Fernando returned with members of the Scottish Military Vehicle Group, a collection of enthusiasts who own, run and restore military vehicles, who donned original uniforms from the 40s for the occasion.

Originally from Cowie, she headed off to join the Army at 17 and welcomed the opportunity to visit the area again during Stirling's Armed Forces Day.

She said: "I am originally from Stirling and haven't been back in about 20 years so I not only enjoyed the event but also amazing reunions with both family and friends. 

“A special moment for me on the day was meeting up with my little brother James whom I love and miss very much and simply just don't see enough of.”

She embraced the opportunity to see her extended family and old friends, along with enjoying the show.

Suzanne, who served in the Royal Military Police, said: “As a service veteran myself I would normally take part in the parades, however a combination of the searing heat and high heels persuaded me not to take part in this one so I stayed in the part with our group in preparation for the visitors. 

“It was a fantastic, free family day out for everyone and was kicked off with the parade of (ex)serving military personnel and cadets.

“The event itself was absolutely wonderful, complete with beautiful sunshine and thousands of visitors enjoying an afternoon of family fun and entertainment in Stirling's historic Kings Park. 

“Visitors came from all across Scotland and further to enjoy a great day out but most importantly to say a big “thank-you” to the Armed Forces.”

The Scottish Military Vehicle Group’s membership is spread over the whole of Scotland with members supporting events such as Armed Forces Day, Remembrance Day, regimental and veteran reunions as well as the many various military and vintage vehicle events held throughout the UK and Europe.

Because of the wealth of some rare vehicles in Scotland, members are often asked to provide vehicles for film work.

There has been a growing trend for vehicle owners to provide a display or diorama based on their vehicles.

This has been popular with event organisers and the public alike, and tends to show the vehicles, and their crew, in a more authentic light.