Giffords will go home to Tucson for the weekend

WASHINGTON — Rep. Gabrielle Giffords will return to Tucson for the first time since she was nearly killed there in an assassination attempt five months ago, her office said Friday.

There will be no public appearances during what is described in a statement as a "brief private visit with her family" this Father's Day weekend.

"We've been dreaming of this trip for some time," Mark Kelly, Giffords' astronaut husband, said in the statement, in which he also asked the public to respect her privacy. "Gabby misses Tucson very much and her doctors have said that returning to her hometown could play an important role in her recovery. It is sure to be very emotional."

The three-term Democrat was discharged Wednesday from the Houston hospital where she has been rehabilitating since the January shooting rampage at a constituent event that killed six and wounded several more.

"For five long months, Gabby has been living and working in the rehab facility in Houston," Kelly said. "Now that she is an outpatient, her first priority is coming home to the place that is such a source of strength for her."