SAN DIEGO -- The Midway American Patriot Award was awarded to former Arizona congresswoman and gun violence survivor Gabrielle Giffords and her husband Capt. Mark Kelly aboard the USS Midway Thursday.
The aircraft carrier brought back a stream of memories for Kelly, who was stationed on the USS Midway for over two years.
“This is where I grew up. When I showed up on this ship I was probably 25 years old. And you know how they say everything we need to know we learn in kindergarten? For me everything I need to know I learned on this ship,” the retired combat pilot and astronaut said.
The Midway American Patriot Award Gala raised $200,000 in order to provide 55,000 students free access to the USS Midway Museum in order to teach the history of the U.S. Navy and the aircraft carrier to future generations.
Giffords delivered a powerful message as she received her award.
“Be a leader, set an example, be passionate, be courageous and be your best," she said.