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Thanksgiving event is another first for Gabrielle Giffords

November 24, 2011|By Michael A. Memoli
  • Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and husband Mark Kelly serve Thanksgiving dinner at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson.
Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and husband Mark Kelly serve Thanksgiving dinner… (Rep. Gabrielle Giffords'…)

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords marked another milestone in her recovery Thursday, serving Thanksgiving dinner to troops at a Tucson military base in what her office said was the first constituent event since an attempt on her life in January.

Giffords and her husband, retired Navy captain Mark Kelly, joined approximately 400 airmen, military retirees and their families at the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in her district. On the menu: a traditional Thanksgiving meal, plus prime rib, baked ham, shrimp, assorted cheeses and desserts.

Her office said that base officials initially asked for a member of Giffords' staff to take part in the meal, but the three-term Democrat "decided she wanted to go herself."

This is just the congresswoman's third trip back to Tucson since she was shot in the head at a constituent event at a shopping center there on Jan. 8. Six others were killed in the shooting spree.

Giffords continues to rehabilitate from the injuries she sustained that day, including what her office calls a "rigorous daily schedule of physical, occupational and speech therapy."

Her progress was documented in a recent ABC News special, tied to the release of a new book written by Kelly. She said she would run again for Congress next year only if she got better.

She also recently recorded a message to her constituents, saying in part: "I want to get back to work.  Representing Arizona is my honor. My staff is there to help you. They keep me informed on your behalf. I miss you. I miss home. I'll see you real soon."

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