WASHINGTON – The family of Fort Hood soldier Vanessa Guillen and their attorney joined members of Congress to demand justice by introducing the #IAmVanessaGuillen Bill.
Following the meeting, dozens gathered in front of the U.S. Capitol for a rally and a march to the White House.
Guillen’s mother spoke before the march:
If passed, the bill will allow active duty service members to file sexual harassment and assault claims to a third-party agency instead of their chain of command.
“We will not accept anything less than justice for Vanessa,” Attorney Natalie Khawam said. “When someone volunteers to serve our country, they deserve to be treated with dignity and respect by their fellow service members. This bill will help us provide the protection and respect to others that was denied to Vanessa.”
Guillen’s family met with President Donald Trump, where her mother and Khawam asked Trump to pass the bill and to find the root of what happened to Guillen.
“I want justice for my Vanessa,” Guillen’s mother said through tears.
During the meeting, Khawam explained Guillen’s death to Trump and asked him to consider the circumstances surrounding it as the reason to pass the #IAmVanessaGuillen bill.
One of Guillen’s sisters said that the troops who are willing to serve and protect need protection, which is why they are asking for the bill.
Trump said the DOJ and the FBI are investigating the case.
“We are going to look into it very powerfully,” Trump said. “... We will get to the bottom of this.”
Guillen’s mother said her daughter is a part of history and she pleaded with Trump to join with the family and be a positive part of Guillen’s story.
During the meeting, Guillen’s family said they have not had a funeral, yet, because the military still has Guillen’s remains because the investigation is open.
Trump responded that he would help Guillen’s family with costs for the funeral should they need it, and he would intervene to help her family get the remains from the military in order for them to have a proper funeral in Houston.
“I just think that it’s a horrific thing that happened and if you did need help, I am here,” Trump said.
The timeline of events is expected to go as follows:
- 8:30 a.m. - Press conference at the National mall
- 10 a.m. - America will march for Justice for Vanessa from the U.S. Capitol to the White House.
- 12 p.m. - Attorney Natalie Khawam will meet with President Trump with her clients, Vanessa Guillen family in the White House.
- 12:30 p.m. - President Trump may hold a press conference to support the #IamVanessaGuillen Bill
- 1 p.m. - Meet at the Ellipse: Attorney Natalie Khawam will discuss their meeting with President Trump and the next steps for everyone to take action for the #IamVanessaGuillen Bill