Rep. Gabrielle Giffords visited Tucson over the weekend, touring her hometown for the first time since being shot in the head outside a supermarket there in January.
Throughout her rehabilitation at a Houston hospital, the Arizona Democrat has been begging to return to the city she represents in the House, repeating “I miss Tucson” to the people around her.
So, soon after being released from the rehab facility last week, family and aides took Giffords to Tucson over the weekend. She was there from late Friday through Sunday morning for what her office described as a “brief private visit with her family.”
“We’ve been dreaming of this trip for some time,” astronaut husband Mark Kelly said in a statement. “Gabby misses Tucson very much and her doctors have said that returning to her hometown could play an important role in her recovery.”
When Giffords’s plane landed in Tucson, her staff posted an optimistic note on her Twitter account. “Wheels down Tucson. Gabrielle & Mark looking forward to a beautiful weekend,” it said.
Though Giffords made no public appearances and aides declined to comment on what the congresswoman did while in Tucson, The New York Times reported that friends expected her to go on a driving tour of the city. One place she was expected to pass was the Shanty, a bar near the University of Arizona where local politicians and journalists gather.
“Coming home was the first step in her getting her life back,” the bar’s owner, Bill Nugent, told the Times. He has a large sign outside the bar that says “Giffords for U.S. Senate.”
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