By Kerri Corrado

RIDLEY TOWNSHIP, Pa. (CBS) — From a war zone to Delaware County. Friends and family welcomed home a local Marine who just returned, from Kabul, Afghanistan.

There is nothing like a warm welcome home.

Twenty-three-year-old Lance Corporal Thomas Plotts arrived home from Afghanistan to a special police escort.

“It’s great to be home,” he said. “It was definitely a surprise.”

Family and friends lined the sidewalks and signs were posted on the front yard for the hometown hero.

“I’m honored that everybody came out. From growing up here, all the support that I’ve had throughout the years from the neighbors and stuff supporting me when I’m away, helping my parents,” Plotts said.

The community showed the local marine he was missed and they are proud of him for his service.

“We have been waiting for this moment,” one man said.

“I am really excited to see him. We haven’t seen him for over a year probably now,” said another.

Plotts’ mother, Tara White, was emotional, hugging her son saying she is grateful he is home safe.

Plotts was one of the last Marines to leave Afghanistan. His father says he was in Kabul helping with evacuations when a bomb went off, killing 13 service members in August.

“We still have to remember the 13 that didn’t come home. We want everyone to keep them in their thoughts and prayers,” Jim White said.

Aside from hanging out with family and friends, Plotts says he is looking forward to sleep and a cheesesteak.