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Gabrielle Giffords returning to Washington for husband's retirement

October 5, 2011 | 11:36 am

U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) is expected to travel to Washington, D.C., this week to attend the military retirement ceremony for her husband, U.S. Navy Capt. Mark Kelly. 

Giffords The trip will be the second time Giffords has returned to Washington since she was shot in the head in January. The shooting, at a Tucson event where Giffords was meeting with constituents, left six people dead and 13 injured, including the congresswoman.

Giffords is not expected to go to Capitol Hill or conduct any congressional business during the trip, according to a release from her office.

The retirement ceremony will be held on Friday at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building. Vice President Joe Biden will administer the retirement oath to Kelly, who will receive the Legion of Merit and the Distinguished Flying Cross medals.

As a naval aviator, Kelly made two deployments to the Persian Gulf during Operation Desert Storm, flying in 39 combat missions. In 1996, he became a NASA astronaut and made four trips to space aboard the space shuttle, commanding three missions.

Kelly commanded NASA's final mission of the space shuttle Endeavour; it returned to Earth in June.

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-- Stephen Ceasar

Photo: U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) on May 17. Credit: Associated Press / southwestphotobank.com / P.K. Weis

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