THE RT HON ALEX SALMOND MSP
FIRST MINISTER OF SCOTLAND
Scotland has a military tradition that is centuries old. Scottish soldiers, sailors and airmen and women have served, and continue to serve, with distinction and courage. They can be justly proud of their reputation as amongst the best in the world. The people of Scotland are proud of our Service personnel, past and present, who have defended our freedoms and way of life.
Service personnel, their families and veterans are an integral part of Scottish society. They are based and live in our communities, and are our family, friends and neighbours. They contribute to Scotland's economy, are valued citizens with a wealth of experience and knowledge and possess transferable skills that enrich and add value to Scottish society.
The Armed Forces also offer fantastic opportunities for those Scots who decide upon a life in the military. They serve with honour and enjoy a rewarding career. But this commitment by thousands of Scots means that they must give up the freedom and choices the rest of us take for granted. In return, therefore, Scotland must ensure public and private support and services are tailored to meet the needs of our Armed Forces, their families and veterans. That is both right and fair and the Scottish Government is proud to play its part.