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Beginning with the end

Allow me to first tell you about the last thing in tonight's broadcast. As someone who has spent a good deal of time with wounded American veterans, and as a board member of the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation, I've been able to see first-hand the great works of the Fisher Houses. What Ronald McDonald House is to the families of seriously ill children, Fisher House is to the families of wounded veterans. The theory is this: With all they have to worry about, they shouldn't have to worry about having a comfortable and supportive place to stay. The recovery of the military member should be their first concern... and that's what Fisher House allows. It is as noble a cause as the calling of our servicemen and women. Tonight I'll be thrilled to introduce Ann Curry's report on Fisher House -- their mission and how they've expanded -- and the challenge ahead. I hope our report tonight floods their phone lines and fills their coffers. I know I speak for Ann when I say that it's gratifying to help shine a light on their good works. And that's how the broadcast will conclude tonight.

At the very top will likely be the bad news from Ford. It's a story we've covered consistently, and Ford executives view these numbers as a turning point... a benchmark of sorts, on top of which to start rebuilding. Just as interesting is what is happening to the Dow stocks at this hour, and we'll keep an eye on the numbers for you, along with their meaning. Also tonight, we're monitoring an interesting day on the stand at the Libby trial (as we pointed out earlier this week on the broadcast, we expect Tim Russert to be called to testify, and when he does we'll report on it on Nightly News), and we'll look at the interesting role Sen. John Warner, R-Va., has taken on, opposing the President's Iraq policy.

Martin Savidge has a hugely emotional story, the result of some phenomenal and emotional research done by our staff. We looked into the lives of all of those killed in this past weekend's chopper crash in Iraq. Tonight's story speaks to the very face of this conflict. The average age of all those killed on board was 42. It was the highest single-day loss of collective rank in the entire war. They leave 34 children behind in all. It is a heartbreaking roll call that needs to be seen. It speaks to those who currently serve -- and in this case, those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

We also have an interesting segment on identity theft and a closer look at the case that had gone cold for 40 years in Mississippi, until a break this week.

For all of those reasons, we hope you can join us tonight.