DALLAS - Sometimes you have to make heroes honorary Texans, and this time, I'm talking about the man behind the woman.
Former astronaut Mark Kelly's work kept him in Houston. He took his last trip to outer space on the Space Shuttle Endeavor, lifting off while his wife, Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was recovering from being shot in the head.
Kelly knew his beloved wife wouldn't want him to miss this last opportunity.
After returning from space, the astronaut's down-to-earth demeanor made him keep things in perspective. He retired from NASA to tend to his wife.
One of the most memorable pictures of the year, in my opinion, is that of Kelly clutching Giffords' hand when doctors did not know if she would ever speak again.
Mark Kelly served as the mouthpiece until she could regain full speech. Now the former astronaut is making it his mission to see to it that his wife fully recovers so she can get back to politics and serve her constituents.
That's why this devoted husband is my pick for 2011 Texan of the Year.