One year later: How Vanessa Guillen’s family is marking anniversary of Fort Hood soldier’s disappearance, death

Two vigils will be held in Guillen's honor tonight

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The attorney for the family of slain Fort Hood soldier Vanessa Guillen held a news conference Thursday with the family to mark the day last year that authorities believe Spec. Vanessa Guillen was killed last year.

Attorney Natalie Khawam said the family is continuing to push for the #lamVanessaGuillen Act to pass for change in the armed forces. At 6:30 p.m., there will be a national candlelight vigil around every Vanessa Guillen mural in every major city, and the Guillen family will be hosting a vigil at 3552 14th Street, NW, Washington, DC, 20010.

During the news conference, Khawam called for justice for Guillen because it has been a year and the family has not received compensation for Guillen’s death and changes to protect soldiers have not been implemented.

Guillen’s sister echoed Khawam’s words while fighting back tears, saying her sister was brutally murdered and put in a box for resisting sexual harassment.

“When are we going to start protecting the victim? Because my sister needed protection,” Guillen’s sister said.

Guillen’s sister said that what happened to her sister is not an issue of race, sexuality or gender, but rather a humanitarian issue. People in the military do not have the same rights they give the American people and that is the injustice, Guillen’s sister said.

She called out President Joe Biden and asked him to follow up on his previous statement and support the family in their battle. Guillen’s sister also asked for Biden to support the legislation that calls for accountability reforms in the military chain of command in light of the circumstances surrounding Guillen’s death.

Khawam said she and the family will not stop and will continue to fight for justice for Vanessa Guillen and other soldiers like her.

For more information about other vigils, visit @findvanessaguillen on all social media platforms.

Watch the full news conference below:


About the Authors:

Daniela Sternitzky-Di Napoli has been a digital news editor at KPRC 2 since 2018. She is a published poet and has background in creative writing and journalism. Daniela has covered events like Hurricane Harvey and the Astros World Series win. In her spare time, Daniela is an avid reader and loves to spend time with her two miniature dachshunds.