US

Giffords and husband Mark Kelly reunite family with long-lost Navy uniform of World War II vet

  • Retired astronaut Mark Kelly, left, and his wife, former Rep. Gabby Giffords, second from left, of Arizona, look at a photo of World War II veteran LeRoy James Vacovsky after presenting the missing Navy uniform of Vacovsky to his daughter, Penny Welch, and her husband, David Welch, right, on Friday, Feb. 13, 2015at their home in central Tucson, Ariz. Giffords’ mother bought her the uniform when she married Kelly several years ago. The couple found it in their home and decided to try to track down the person it belonged to. (AP Photo/Astrid Galvan)

    Retired astronaut Mark Kelly, left, and his wife, former Rep. Gabby Giffords, second from left, of Arizona, look at a photo of World War II veteran LeRoy James Vacovsky after presenting the missing Navy uniform of Vacovsky to his daughter, Penny Welch, and her husband, David Welch, right, on Friday, Feb. 13, 2015at their home in central Tucson, Ariz. Giffords’ mother bought her the uniform when she married Kelly several years ago. The couple found it in their home and decided to try to track down the person it belonged to. (AP Photo/Astrid Galvan)  (The Associated Press)

  • Penny Welch, of Illinois, holds a picture of her father, World War II veteran LeRoy James Vacovsky on Friday, Feb. 13, 2015 in Tucson, Ariz. Vacovsky’s  Navy uniform found in the home of former Rep. Gabby Giffords of Arizona and her husband Mark Kelly. Welch and her husband, David, traveled to Tucson to pick up the uniform after Kelly tracked them down. Giffords’ mother bought her the uniform when she married Kelly several years ago. (AP Photo/Astrid Galvan)

    Penny Welch, of Illinois, holds a picture of her father, World War II veteran LeRoy James Vacovsky on Friday, Feb. 13, 2015 in Tucson, Ariz. Vacovsky’s Navy uniform found in the home of former Rep. Gabby Giffords of Arizona and her husband Mark Kelly. Welch and her husband, David, traveled to Tucson to pick up the uniform after Kelly tracked them down. Giffords’ mother bought her the uniform when she married Kelly several years ago. (AP Photo/Astrid Galvan)  (The Associated Press)

  • Penny Welch, of Illinois, holds a picture of her father, World War II veteran LeRoy James Vacovsky on Friday, Feb. 13, 2015 in Tucson, Ariz. Vacovsky’s  Navy uniform found in the home of former Rep. Gabby Giffords of Arizona and her husband Mark Kelly. Welch and her husband, David, traveled to Tucson to pick up the uniform after Kelly tracked them down. Giffords’ mother bought her the uniform when she married Kelly several years ago. (AP Photo/Astrid Galvan)

    Penny Welch, of Illinois, holds a picture of her father, World War II veteran LeRoy James Vacovsky on Friday, Feb. 13, 2015 in Tucson, Ariz. Vacovsky’s Navy uniform found in the home of former Rep. Gabby Giffords of Arizona and her husband Mark Kelly. Welch and her husband, David, traveled to Tucson to pick up the uniform after Kelly tracked them down. Giffords’ mother bought her the uniform when she married Kelly several years ago. (AP Photo/Astrid Galvan)  (The Associated Press)

An Illinois woman has been reunited with the Navy uniform of her World War II veteran father after former Rep. Gabby Giffords and husband Mark Kelly tracked her down to return it.

Giffords and Kelly invited Penny Welch and her husband to their Tucson home on Friday to return the long-lost uniform.

The uniform belonged to LeRoy James Vacovsky, an aviation electrician from the Chicago area. It fell into Giffords' possession about seven years ago, when her mother bought it for her at a thrift store. Curious about its history, Kelly looked inside the jacket and began researching the man it belonged to.

But his search was to no avail, and another six years would pass before Kelly would track his family down.

Welch said she was honored to be reunited with the uniform.