WASHINGTON, Jan. 8, 2011 — Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates praised Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D‑Ariz.) for her support of the military and expressed his wish for her full recovery. Giffords, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, was reportedly critically wounded by a gunman who shot her in the face during a Tucson, Ariz., shooting rampage today that left six people dead.
“I am saddened to hear of the attack on Congresswoman Giffords and members of her staff earlier today in Tucson, Ariz. I have had an opportunity to interact with Congresswoman Giffords in her capacity as a member of the House Armed Services Committee, where she served on the Readiness and Air and Land Forces subcommittees. She is a strong supporter of America’s national defense, cares deeply about our men and women in uniform, and has pursued her oversight responsibilities with dedication,” Gates said in a released statement.
“Our thoughts are also with her husband, Navy Captain Mark Kelly, an aviator and astronaut of great distinction, as well as the families of the other victims of this attack. Ms. Giffords represents a new generation of principled and thoughtful political leaders that have come to Washington in recent years. We will miss her strong character and good judgment in the Congress during these important days ahead, and we are praying for her full recovery,” he said.
U.S. Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)