Still a "Nam" Vet Favorite

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She started her speech laughing, saying she was thrilled when she learned the Veterans wanted her at the convention.

"Wow, that is so great. I guess they turned down Jane Fonda."

Raquel Welch hit the stage in the 1967-68 USO Christmas tour with Bob Hope in Vietnam. She says her loyalty was always to these young boys, as she called them, because she says they had nothing to do with the war they had to fight.

"I think it's safe to say no on in their heart, really wants to go to war, even those who are fighting it."

Maybe that's why others here agree, it's ok for some celebrities to have a different opinion.

Grant Coates says it would be hypocritical to be angry at someone for speaking out when that is one of the privileges they were trying to bring to a country.

Jim Doyle agrees, saying he actually had mixed feelings about those who came to visit in Vietnam, bringing empty promises of a quick trip home.

"I was an infantryman, so we saw very few entertainers. I think everybody was so frustrated about ending the war. They all said they were helping back home, but they didn't end the war."

As Welch was honored with the President's Award for Excellence in Arts, it signaled the end of a week of camaraderie earned by these men and women who say they share more than pin-up stories and good laughs. They say they never forget the stories rarely shared outside the company of each other.