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HOUSTON A former Houston police officer who was critically woundedin the line of duty says he wants State Rep. Gabrielle Giffords to know that full recovery is possible.

I was a Houston Police officer and I was shot four times n the face in the line of duty. I am sitting here talking to you with three bullets in my brain today, Danny Vaughan said.

Vaughan watched Wednesday morning as Giffords took each focused step to board the NASA jet to Florida.

She is way ahead of the ballgame, she is way ahead, he said.

Vaughan noticed the little things.

She is doing most of it on her own, but she has guys in front of her and behind her to catch her if she falls back, he said.

Giffords husband Mark Kelly is preparing to command the final mission of space shuttle Endeavour on Friday afternoon. Now thatKelly and his wife are in Florida, one of the biggest goals in her recovery has been met.

She sure looks good though from what I can see, Vaughan said.

Vaughan said he has reached out to the Kellys offering his support. Ten days ago he ran into Kelly at a gathering in Austin.

I stopped and said, 'Mark? Astronaut Mark?' He said, Yes sir,' Vaughan said.

A ten-minute conversation between the men was summed up simply.

My message to your wife is that there can be quality of life after traumatic brain injury. I just want that message to be told by someone that has lived it already. Vaughan said.

He said he lives it every day.

I am still getting better 18 years after my injury. Still getting better, Vaughan said.
She is gonna come back refreshed and ready to go at it.

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