Huge crowds turned out to welcome home heroes from the Second Battalion, the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers.
Hundreds of people lined the streets on Thursday to watch troops from the battalion, based at Hounslow Barracks, parade through Hounslow town centre at 11am.
The regiment was exercising its right to march for the first time, with bayonets fixed and colours flying, after being awarded the Freedom of the Borough earlier this morning.
After marching up the High Street, soldiers gathered in Lampton Park for an award ceremony, before joining their families in the Civic Centre for a special reception.
Troops returned to the barracks, in Beavers Lane, Hounslow West, at the start of November after six months in Afghanistan, in what has been one of their toughest tours of duty.
Tragically, seven soldiers from the battalion failed to make it home after being killed in action, while several others sustained life-changing injuries.
In a special council meeting at 9am, Brigadier Trevor Minter, Colonel of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, accepted a ceremonial key, signifying the Freedom of the Borough, on behalf of his troops.
Hounslow's VC heroes Tul Bahadur Pun and Lachhiman Gurung were also awarded the Freedom of the Borough, as was Lt Col Charlie Calder, Commanding Officer of the Second Battalion.
Councillors, veterans and modern day troops united in the traditional Gurkha war cry of 'Ayo Gurkhali' (here come the Gurkhas) as the honour was conferred, to which Pun VC responded 'Ayo Fusiliers'.
Pun VC said: "The Fusiliers are a brave and steadfast regiment. I'm proud to know so many of them and to be here today to greet them as they march through the town and receive their medals."
Council leader Peter Thompson said: "This is a chance to show publicly our support for our troops. It's a very small token of our appreciation of our debt to them."
Brigadier Minter thanked the people of Hounslow for the honour and paid tribute to his fallen comrades.
"We're honoured to be in this borough today exercising our freedom to march," he said. "The turnout means an awful lot to the soldiers who have been serving their country in such difficult circumstances. As a regiment we're a family and part of our family's here today in the next of kin of those who died on the tour of Afghanistan.
"Fusilier Tom James is here today to represent the wounded - those who were hurt physically during the tour and many more who I'm sure will be hurt mentally in the years to come. The family will be there for them all."
Lieutenant Calder said: "All Fusiliers can return proud in the knowledge they left thir little bit of Afghanistan significantly better than they found it."