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article imageGabrielle Giffords to write memoir, Mark Kelly retires from NASA

By Kim I. Hartman     Jun 22, 2011 in World
Houston - Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, Astronaut and Shuttle Commander Captain Mark Kelly, have made two major announcements this week, including a memoir the pair are working on and Kelly's retirement from NASA and the United States Navy.
Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, recovering from a gunshot wound to the head she received in a shooting in Arizona at a political event in January, and her husband Capt. Mark Kelly have announced they are working together on a memoir, which will published by Scribner and will detail their private life together.
According to the news release by Scribner "the yet untitled memoir will recount their courtship, Giffords rise in politics, and the tragic shooting that gravely injured the congresswoman."
The couple plan to tell the complete story of her remarkable recovery, including her struggle to learn to talk and walk again. It will also chronicle the details of Kelly's military career from decorated Desert Storm pilot, in which he flew combat mission from the desk of the USS Midway, through his career as a NASA astronaut."
Kelly, 47, a fifteen-year veteran of NASA and a 25-year veteran of the Navy, has flown on four shuttle missions and was recently the commander of Space Shuttle Endeavor's final voyage into space.
Kelly told the Associated Press, "it's been really touching to us to see how much support there is for Gabby and her recovery, and how much interest there is in how she's doing and her story. After thinking about it, and talking about it, we decided it was the right thing to do to put our words and our voices on paper and tell our story from our point of view."
Capt. Kelly announced his retirement yesterday on his NASA Facebook page.
Kelly writes:
Today, I am humbled to announce that after 25 years of service to our country, I am retiring from the United States Navy and leaving NASA, effective Oct. 1. Words cannot convey my deep gratitude for the opportunities I have been given to serve our great nation. From the day I entered the United States Merchant Marine Academy in the summer of 1982 to the moment I landed the Space Shuttle Endeavour three weeks ago, it has been my privilege to advance the ideals that define the United States of America.
As life takes unexpected turns we frequently come to a crossroads. I am at this point today. Gabrielle is working hard every day on her mission of recovery. I want to be by her side. Stepping aside from my work in the Navy and at NASA will allow me to be with her and with my two daughters. I love them all very much and there is no doubt that we will move forward together. After some time off, I will look at new opportunities and am hopeful that one day I will again serve our country.
STS-108 Commander Dominic L. Gorie and Pilot Mark Kelly  in their stations during rendezvous operati...
STS-108 Commander Dominic L. Gorie and Pilot Mark Kelly, in their stations during rendezvous operations with the International Space Station
Kelly went on to say it was not an easy decision for him to make. He said, "Public service has been more than a job for me and for my family." Kelly brother is also a NASA astronaut and member of the Navy, and his parents are both retired police officers.
Giffords and Kelly will work with "Jeffrey Zaslow, Wall Street Journal columnist, author of The Girls from Ames and co-author of The Last Lecture, in a collaborate effort to complete the book' according to Scribner. Zaslow also worked on Capt. Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger's "Highest Duty.
No date has been set for release of the couple's book.
Scribner executive vice president and publisher Susan Moldow said, “We are deeply honored to publish Mark Kelly’s and Gabby Giffords’ memoir which will fully unfold the remarkable story of two exceptionally brave public servants.”
Scribner announced that a portion of the proceeds received by Kelly and Giffords will be donated to charities in Arizona.
Giffords was released from the hospital a week ago and now resides in the home Kelly has maintained in Houston, reported Digital Journal. She will continue outpatient therapy and care at TIRR Memorial Hermann.
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