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Stevie Nicks' Mission to Heal

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After finishing her set at a concert in Virginia, rocker Stevie Nicks—flowing skirts and all—makes a beeline for some special guests. “Just let me hug you. I think of you all the time,” she tells PFC. Marissa Strock, 21, one of eight soldiers she has invited to the show, all of them badly wounded in the Iraq war. Strock hugs Nicks from the wheelchair she uses when her prosthetics become too painful. (Her legs were amputated after she was caught in a Baghdad explosion.) The two met last May at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., which Nicks first visited at the suggestion of a friend. Since then Nicks has been back four times, and to the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., twice, with a gift for the wounded troops she meets: iPods loaded with her music, plus acts like Aerosmith and Elvis Presley. Nicks has sent baby clothes to war widows, joined bedside vigils and (working with the USO) hopes to provide every returning GI with a music player. “She spends so much time with the soldiers, and that’s more precious than money,” says Katy Hines, 23, whom Nicks consoled last July as her husband, Pfc. Timothy Hines, was being treated for war wounds that he ultimately didn’t survive. Nicks only wishes she could do more. “You can’t help falling in love with every one of them,” she says.

To read Stevie’s journal entries about visiting hospitalized troops, go to