PHOENIX (Reuters) - In a spoken message to her Southern Arizona constituents, U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords said she is "getting stronger" and wants to "get back to work" representing them in the U.S. Congress.
"I'm getting stronger. I'm getting better," Giffords said in a recorded message released on Facebook on Tuesday. "I want to get back to work. Representing Arizona is my honor."
The message, which lasts about a minute, was recorded last week in Houston, where Giffords has been receiving intensive rehabilitation therapy since she was shot in the head ten months ago, her office said.
Giffords was shot at a public event for constituents in Tucson in January. Jared Lee Loughner has been charged in the shooting spree that killed six people and wounded 13, including Giffords.
"It has been a hard year -- for all of us. Thinking of that day makes me sad," Giffords said, speaking slowly but clearly. "Six people died. Six innocent people. So many people hurt. There is lot to say. I will speak better," she added.
Giffords, who has returned to Tucson twice for private family visits since the shooting, said "I miss you, I miss Tucson, the mountains, blue skies, even the heat."
The recording was released on Facebook a day after a televised interview with Giffords was aired on the ABC -- the congresswoman's first interview to camera since the shooting.
Flanked by her husband, retired astronaut Mark Kelly, Giffords spoke clearly and smiled broadly in the TV interview with journalist Diane Sawyer, which was seen by 13.4 million viewers, the network said.
ABC said its TV special was broadcast in conjunction with the release Tuesday of a memoir by the couple titled, "Gabby: A Story of Courage and Hope."
Reporting by Tim Gaynor; Editing by Greg McCune