RONKONKOMA - Hundreds of people gathered at Long Island MacArthur Airport today to welcome home a soldier from Hampton Bays returning from Iraq.

Army Sgt Spec. David Worrell, 20, was greeted with loud cheers and waving American flags upon getting off the plane.

As part of a special program, the Town of Islip and MacArthur Airport have been welcoming soldiers home for the past two years.

"The veterans of the 50s, 60s and 70s, they didn't have any of this," says Vietnam War veteran John Mauro. "There was no programs, no one waiting for them."

Worrell's father thanked the volunteers who took time out of their holiday weekend to give his son a hero's welcome.

Worrell, who spent the past year serving in Iraq, says he plans to spend the Fourth of July holiday resting and spending time with his family.