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Honoring Vanessa: Public viewing at Chavez HS to begin at noon Friday

HOUSTON – Army Specialist Vanessa Guillen will be remembered on Friday during a public memorial at Houston’s Chavez High School, the same school she graduated from in 2018.

A public viewing is scheduled to begin at noon followed by the rosary at 6 p.m.

“I just want the community to get together and honor who she was,” said Ashley Macias, a friend of Vanessa who plans to attend the memorial.

The two met at Chavez during soccer tryouts.

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“She was actually always really positive,” Macias said. “She never gave up on what she wanted. If she had a goal, she was determined to achieve it and she just never gave up on it.”

The Houston-native soldier’s remains were found in a shallow grave near Fort Hood in June. Investigators say she was killed by a fellow soldier who took his own life.

The Guillen family believes she faced sexual harassment in the military and has called for a Congressional investigation. The family’s attorney wants to make sure people know Vanessa’s story.

“It’ll be nice to see everyone come forth and talk about their stories with her, who she was, how she made a difference in their life or impacted their life,” said attorney Natalie Khawam.

A private funeral service and burial are scheduled for Saturday.