The family of Spc. Vanessa Guillen is expected to meet with President Trump this week, the sister of the slain Fort Hood soldier said.
Guillen’s five siblings and her mother, Gloria, are scheduled to be in Washington, D.C., on July 29-30, Mayra Guillen said. They are scheduled to meet with the president Thursday, one day before #IAmVanessaGuillen legislation is to be introduced. After that announcement, supporters will march from Capitol Hill to the White House, the family’s attorney, Natalie Khawam, posted on Twitter.
Although details of the legislation have not been released, it is expected to address sexual harassment in the military. Guillen’s family previously called for a congressional investigation into allegations that Guillen was sexually harassed at Fort Hood.
“It takes a lot for us to keep going under all these circumstances,’’ Mayra said. “It’s been hard. We haven’t had our privacy like we would have, but at this point, there’s no time for that.’’
Guillen, 20, disappeared April 22 from a parking lot in her squadron. Her remains were found June 30 near the Leon River, about 30 minutes away.
No evidence of sexual harassment against Guillen was found, Maj. Gen. Scott Efflandt said, but he has asked the inspector general to investigate Fort Hood’s Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention program, known as SHARP.
Mayra thanked the public for supporting Vanessa’s cause. Her death has spurred other women to step forward about their experiences with sexual harassment in the military.
“I still think they’re still doing other marches and protests and stuff in different areas of the U.S., and I would like for people to keep doing so,’’ Mayra said. “It brings attention, awareness, everything that we still need.’’
Mayra urged supporters to continue using social media as a platform to maintain momentum in Vanessa’s memory. The hashtags #JusticeforVanessaGuillen, #IamVanessaGuillen, #WeareVanessaGuillen and #VanessaGuillen have been popular.
“Sharing thoughts, prayers, anything at this point that would be able to get to us so that we can keep sharing …,’’ Mayra said.
Vanessa was a specialist in the 3rd Cavalry Regiment at Fort Hood. She was killed by Spc. Aaron Robinson of Calumet City, Ill., who served in the same regiment, according to investigators.
Robinson killed himself early on July 1 as law-enforcement officials closed in. Cecily Aguilar, the estranged wife of a married former soldier, is believed to have helped dispose of Vanessa’s body, investigators said.
Aguilar pleaded not guilty last week to three counts of tampering with evidence. She faces up to 20 years in federal prison on each count. No trial date has been set for Aguilar, who is being held without bond.
Mayra said she has been in contact with federal agencies, including the FBI, for updates. She said she isn’t meeting with the Army Criminal Investigation Command (CID) anymore.
Through it all, Mayra said the family has not processed fully what happened to her beloved sister.
“Eventually we’ll be OK, and we’ll be able to grieve,’’ Mayra said.Read comments