The Born to Run singer has recorded his own message for a new audio edition of Ron Kovic's 1976 anti-Vietnam War memoir, which will be released on America's Independence Day (04Jul16) to mark the book's 40th anniversary.

In Springsteen's foreword, which can be heard online, he described how he discovered the book in a small town drugstore and became friends with Kovic in 1978. He recalled how the author once brought him to a veterans' center in California.

"A few days later we made the trip and I was introduced to many young men who were struggling with their own difficulties coming home," he says in the foreword. "It was unforgettable and sparked my interest in veterans' affairs... Ron's book, his passion and his friendship have stayed with me to this day."

The singer later hosted a concert to benefit veterans in 1981, and Kovic, who was paralysed from the chest down during the war, paid tribute to Springsteen as the rocker was feted at the Kennedy Center Honors in 2009.

Born on the Fourth of July was adapted into a film starring Tom Cruise as Kovic, who won the Best Screenplay Golden Globe with Oliver Stone in 2009. Kovic's new book, Hurricane Street, will be also be released on July 4th. .