Gates Wishes Recovery for Wounded Congresswoman

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)

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