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Giffords Back in DC as Husband Retires

Smiles through Biden-led ceremony honoring Mark Kelly
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 7, 2011 7:25 AM CDT
Gabrielle Giffords in Washington for Husband Mark Kelly's Retirement Ceremony
Navy Capt. Mark Kelly hugs his wife Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., after he received the Legion of Merit from Vice President Joe Biden during Kelly's retirement ceremony in Washington, Oct. 6, 2011.   (AP Photo/The White House, David Lienemann)

(Newser) – Gabrielle Giffords was in Washington last night—for the second time since the Tucson attack—to celebrate her husband's career in a retirement ceremony led by Joe Biden. Though the congresswoman still has some verbal difficulty and walks with a limp, she spent the ceremony smiling, waving, and blowing kisses, the Arizona Republic reports. "You look good, Gabby," Biden said. "You've been an inspiration to thousands of people."

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The ceremony in the White House complex honored Mark Kelly's 25 years in the military. Biden led the retirement oath and Giffords attached the Distinguished Flying Cross medal to her husband's uniform. Kelly offered an emotional tribute to his wife. "Gabby, you remind me every day to deny the acceptance of failure," he said, citing her "true grit and determination." Giffords is nearing her 10th month of recovery, the Republic notes; doctors don't expect to be able to offer a prognosis for at least another few months. But friends say she is steadily improving. (Read more Gabrielle Giffords stories.)

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