TUCSON, Ariz. -- U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords helped serve a Thanksgiving meal to service members and retirees at a military base in her hometown.
Giffords arrived in the dining hall at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson at midday Thursday wearing a ball cap and an apron with her nickname of "Gabby" sewn on the front. She was accompanied by her retired astronaut husband, Mark Kelly.
Giffords used only her left hand as she served, a sign that physical damage remains from the injuries she suffered when she was shot in January.
Kelly supported her from her left side as she worked the turkey station on the serving line. He served ham.
Afterward, she mingled with service members, exchanging pleasantries and mostly one-word greetings and responses.
She did tell Airman 1st Class Millie Gray, of Kansas City, Mo., "Happy Thanksgiving, thank you for your service."
Gray said she had intended to grab a plate and head back to her dorm to eat, until she heard that Giffords was going to be there. "She's such an inspiration and her story is so inspirational, it really made me proud. I felt very proud and very humble," Gray said. "It just feels really good to see that she is out here supporting the troops, and just continuing to be an inspiration and a strong role model for Americans in general.
Giffords has been undergoing rehabilitation at TIRR Memorial Hermann in Houston as she recovers from a gunshot wound to the head. She was among 19 people shot Jan. 8 outside a Tucson supermarket. Six people died.