Hollywood threw a parade for Desert Storm troops. And Hollywood being Hollywood, it was the biggest welcome yet with more than 1 million spectators and an array of military hardware for special effect.
Six paratroopers jumped out of a helicopter to get things rolling Sunday.More than 4,000 former gulf troops, many in chocolate-chip camouflage uniforms, were joined on the three-mile route by such celebrities as Roseanne Barr, Tony Curtis, Gene Autry and Peter Graves.
The parade's chairmen were Bob Hope and Jimmy Stewart.
"It's been a wonderful year for the United States of America, and we all should be proud," Stewart said.
The parade included among the floats and fighting men and women a Patriot missile that rolled down the street and military aircraft flying overhead.
These included four F-117 Stealth jetfighters, a World War II-era B-25 bomber, a B-17 Flying Fortress, P-51 Mustangs and Condor Squadron AT-6s.
Army Cpl. Ramon Agosto of Fort Bliss, Texas, was treated to a hug from a woman he didn't know.
"She came up to me and said, `Thank you. We love you,"' said Agosto, 30, who was in the ground campaign. "It's great seeing all of us together - Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines. It makes you feel real proud."
The parade was joined by those who fought other wars, among them 21 generals and admirals.
A contingent of Vietnam War veterans evoked an outpouring of their own.
As they passed, the flag-waving throng thundered with applause. Some spectators rushed to embrace them.
"I think the general public didn't give us the welcome we deserved, but this is a good way to show thankfulness," said Vietnam veteran Carlos Venegas.