Former Rep. Giffords to receive award aboard ship During New York Fleet Week

WE HEAR: Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) will celebrate Fleet Week in New York City with an appearance at an annual Salute to Freedom gala.

The ex-congresswoman, who resigned in January to focus on her recovery from a January 2011 assassination attempt, will be honored with the 2012 Salute to Women award Thursday aboard the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in New York, according to New Jersey’s Star-Ledger.

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta is expected at the soiree, and country singer Trace Adkins is slated to perform.

Last year, Adkins’s country-music colleague, chart-topping artist Dierks Bentley, released a single called “Home” that he said was inspired by Giffords.