FORT BRAGG, N.C. (AP) _ There was a personal connection for country star Faith Hill when she entertained 7,000 paratroopers at Fort Bragg this week.

``She and I were best friends'' while growing up in Star, Miss., said Gaye Knight, wife of Capt. Dan Knight, a chaplain with the 1st Battalion of the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment. ``We've kept in contact, and we link up as much as we can.''

Hill arrived in Fayetteville Wednesday to spend time with her friends and set up for Thursday's concert.

``Dan and I were both honored,'' Knight said. ``If people could see how she really is behind the scenes, what you see is what you get. She's a goodhearted, all-American girl.''

The 35-year-old singer entertained the paratroopers before thousands began their journey to join other U.S. troops in the Persian Gulf region.

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