Stevie's Journal entries from January 14th to 31st 2006
To all the troops around the world~ I send you all my energy in this, the New Year. I thought you might like to hear about my last visit to Walter Reed and Bethesda hospitals, so here is my journal entry that begins my new journal.
Thank you for what you do~
Thank you for what you do~
I haven’t written in my journal for weeks. That is very unlike me…I think it is because my last 3-day trip to Bethesda, Walter Reed and Arlington National Cemetery deeply affected me. It happens every time I go~
It actually leaves me speechless…
Each time I go I find out more about the war thru these young peoples’ eyes. One boy said – “Don’t idolize us~ at the point of battle we are just fighting to keep our friends alive~ Iraqi and American… I guess that is what we would all do. You are on a team~ and the Iraqi people are lovely~ and you bond. You are emotionally touched by something every day and in simple terms, you feel that you are helping. That is what freedom means to them and they are willing, everyday, to risk their lives for it.
So, as Mick and I went from room to room delivering their tiny iPod~ they told us their stories. Mick became his tall, loving, father figure, English self~ taking in every word they said~ remaining calm (at least on the outside) inspiring them. We floated from room to room down thru the halls of the 2 hospitals over a three-day period. We gave out all our iPods. Right before I left for D.C., Stephen Tyler and Joe Perry dug into their pockets and came up with $10,000 for me. In my eyes they went from the coolest rock stars to generous great men~ as my press agent Liz Rosenberg said~ every returning wounded soldier should be given an iPod. It will be an integral part of their recovery.
The morning of the second day, Mick and I went to Arlington National Cemetery. We had no idea what to expect that day. We walked among the graves and stood together in the exact place where John Kennedy had stood two weeks before his death. He is buried there~ overlooking Washington, D.C. He has the best view in the city. He is everywhere there and you can feel it.
We went then to lay a wreath upon the tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The ceremony takes place in a great white stone structure~ an amphitheatre. It was very grand. We visited a moment in the display room where specific medals and flags are housed~ beautiful folded blue flags like the one I have that was my fathers. And then, as only heads of state are usually allowed to do, we walked thru the doors of history and down the many steps to the great white tomb of the unknown soldiers~
The tomb guard says….
Then we went on to visit the graves of the 7 astronauts who did not make it back. Christa McAuliffe and I shared the same birthday, May 26th. I definitely had a moment with her. She would do it all again. Christa wanted to fly.
So all that said, what we try to do on our visits, is to use our power to call back that charmed, childlike innocence~ and the answer to that, in my opinion~ is music. Music gives you the strength to keep moving. Music inspires you. Inspired people don’t stay down.
So, in closing, it was awesome. I have never seen so many beautiful long eyelashes in one place. One can’t help but fall in love with each one of them. And Dr. Wagner and Ellen and Mike and Joe and Elaine, you are….
Thank you to the USO of Metropolitan Washington for letting us come to your hospitals~
You are awesome.
Janaury 29th, 2006
Today we heard on the news that Bob Woodruff and Doug Vogt were hit by an IED bomb. We are all very concerned. Not much information has been given yet….
January 30th, 2006
It was reported on the news tonight that Bob Woodruff and Doug Vogt had arrived at the Bethesda Naval Hospital in DC…..
Tuesday Morning ~ 11:15am
Today I sent Bob Woodruff, and his cameraman Doug Vogt, iPods. A world-class newsman, and his Emmy winning cameraman, unbelieveable. I am very sad about this. He along with Elizabeth Vargas took over for my favorite guy, Peter Jennings. This was the coveted “World News” spot. I could say that they shouldn’t have gone~ they have kids, but… but that’s what we do, we reach out to tell the world those stories they need to know. I write songs and go where I have to go. They report the news and… go where they have to go. There’s always a risk. They were standing up filming when their tank drove over a bomb. It blew up all around them. That’s what I.E.D.’s , improvised explosive devices, do. They destroy from a distance; a cowards bomb. We don’t really know the extent of their injuries.
Pray for them.
We leave for Melbourne Australia tonight at 11:45. I got up at 10:00 today so I could have my quiet time on this, our last day in L.A. We will be back in 5 weeks. That seems like a long time to me now~ but as we all know…
So, off I go into the wild blue yonder once again. What an adventure~ and New Zealand too…I’m sure the minute I get on the plane this nervous, “not wanting to go” thing will be gone` just like stage fright.
So, bon voyage, America, for awhile. Goodbye, house that I love and, goodbye “tree of my heart”~