Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) might have left Washington, but her presence continues to be felt. Case in point: The Navy on Friday announced it would name one of its new littoral combat ships after the former Congresswoman, who survived a gunshot wound to the head last year after she was attacked at a constituent event. “The selection of Gabrielle Giffords, designated LCS 10, honors the former Congresswoman from Tucson, Arizona, who is known for supporting the military and veterans, advocating for renewable energy and championing border security,” the Navy said in a statement. Giffords is also connected to the Navy through her husband, Mark Kelly, a retired astronaut and Navy combat and test pilot.
Giffords stepped down from her seat Jan. 25, saying she needed to concentrate on her recovery.
Her former district director, Ron Barber, announced last week that he would run in the special election to replace her for the rest of the 112th Congress. Barber, who was also shot and injured in last year’s shooting, said Giffords asked him to run.
The LCS program, for years plagued by cost overruns and scheduling delays, typically names its ships after cities, so the naming of the ship after Giffords is a departure from tradition.
The ship bearing Giffords’ name is scheduled to begin construction sometime this year.