Navy To Commission New Ship Named After Former Arizona Congresswoman

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Photo via Wikimedia Commons

The survivor of a close-range assassination attempt in 2011, former Arizona Rep.  Gabrielle Giffords is as tough as they come, so it only makes sense that the U.S. Navy’s newly minted Littoral Combat Ship is getting one hell of a badass name — hers.


On June 10, the 418-foot-long ship, designed to handle mines and submarine threats, will be commissioned the USS Gabrielle Giffords at Galveston, Texas’ Pier 21, the Houston Chronicle reports.

Giffords was beginning her third term on Congress when gunman Jared Lee Loughner opened fire on a constituent meeting in a grocery store parking lot on January 8, 2011. He killed six, injured 12, and then shot Giffords in the head.

She miraculously survived, but was left disabled and needing intensive rehabilitation. To this day, she suffers from aphasia, a speaking issue, and the right side of her body is still largely paralyzed. In the wake of the attack, she gave up her seat in Congress to manage her health.

“That our Navy chose to give my name to this ship is an incredibly humbling honor — one I would never have imagined, one I will never forget, and one for which I always remain grateful," Giffords told the New York Times.

This is the first naval ship to be named for a living woman since the Lady Washington, named after Martha Washington, was commissioned in 1776. It is also the 16th vessel to be named for a woman in American history.

When the name was selected, former Navy Secretary Ray Mabus told the New York Times it was appropriate that a vessel “be named for someone who has become synonymous with courage, who has inspired the nation with remarkable resiliency and shown the possibilities of the human spirit.”

Former Army 1st Lt. Clint Lorance, whom President Donald Trump recently pardoned of his 2013 murder conviction, claims he was nothing more than a pawn whom generals sacrificed for political expediency.

The infantry officer had been sentenced to 19 years in prison for ordering his soldiers to open fire on three unarmed Afghan men in 2012. Two of the men were killed.

During a Monday interview on Fox & Friends, Lorance accused his superiors of betraying him.

"A service member who knows that their commanders love them will go to the gates of hell for their country and knock them down," Lorance said. "I think that's extremely important. Anybody who is not part of the senior Pentagon brass will tell you the same thing."

"I think folks that start putting stars on their collar — anybody that has got to be confirmed by the Senate for a promotion — they are no longer a soldier, they are a politician," he continued. "And so I think they lose some of their values — and they certainly lose a lot of their respect from their subordinates — when they do what they did to me, which was throw me under the bus."

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Fifteen years after the U.S. military toppled the regime of Saddam Hussein, the Army's massive two-volume study of the Iraq War closed with a sobering assessment of the campaign's outcome: With nearly 3,500 U.S. service members killed in action and trillions of dollars spent, "an emboldened and expansionist Iran appears to be the only victor.

Thanks to roughly 700 pages of newly-publicized secret Iranian intelligence cables, we now have a good idea as to why.

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BANGKOK (Reuters) - Defense Secretary Mark Esper expressed confidence on Sunday in the U.S. military justice system's ability to hold troops to account, two days after President Donald Trump pardoned two Army officers accused of war crimes in Afghanistan.

Trump also restored the rank of a Navy SEAL platoon commander who was demoted for actions in Iraq.

Asked how he would reassure countries such as Afghanistan and Iraq in the wake of the pardons, Esper said: "We have a very effective military justice system."

"I have great faith in the military justice system," Esper told reporters during a trip to Bangkok, in his first remarks about the issue since Trump issued the pardons.

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Editor's Note: This article by Richard Sisk originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

For one veteran who fought through the crossfires of German heavy machine guns in the D-Day landings, receiving a Congressional Gold Medal on behalf of his service and that of his World War II comrades would be "quite meaningful."

Bills have been introduced in the House and Senate to award the Army Rangers of World War II the medal, the highest civilian award bestowed by the United States, along with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

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An airman at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base was arrested and charged with murder on Sunday after a shooting at a Raleigh night club that killed a 21-year-old man, the Air Force and the Raleigh Police Department said.

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