Vanessa Guillen's Mom Breaks Down While Asking Trump for Justice
"She died on base," Vanessa's mother, Guadalupe Guillen, said to the president. "How can this happen on a military base, where you think everything is safe, but yet the soldiers are not safe?"
The family of murdered soldier Vanessa Guillen had an emotional meeting with President Donald Trump at the White House on Thursday. "She died on base," said Guadalupe Guillen, Vanessa's mother. "How can this happen on a military base, where you think everything is safe, but yet the soldiers are not safe?"
"It hit me very hard," Trump said in the meeting. "I saw what happened to your daughter, Vanessa, who was a spectacular person, and respected and loved by everybody, including in the military." He also said that federal agencies are now involved in investigation of her murder at the Fort Hood military base in Texas. "As you know, the FBI and the DOJ are now involved," the president added. "And the people at Fort Hood, where it took place, are very much involved. We didn’t want to have this swept under the rug, which could happen."
Trump offered to pay for the soldier's funeral and help her family economically. The family's lawyer, Natalie Khawam, said they still haven't received Vanessa's remains because the investigation is still open. "The saddest part of this all is her funeral is around the corner," Khawam said. "And they won’t have her body in the casket. Sometimes people need closure when they see someone’s face or body in a casket, and there’s no body. It’s horrific." Mayra Guillen, Vanessa's sister, added that the family would like to have a funeral as soon as possible in Houston. "I’ll help you out," Trump said. "Financially, I’ll help you."
There have been many protests throughout the country since the news of Guillen's murder was confirmed, with demonstrators demanding a congressional investigation and justice for the Mexican American soldier, who was 20.
Latinx celebs like Becky G have shown their support for Guillen's family and their quest for justice. The Mexican American singer shared a post asking her fans to demand the passage of the #IAmVanessaGuillen bill, which would allow members of the armed forces to report sexual harassment accusations to a third party without fear of retaliation. "We are going to look into it very powerfully," Trump said of Vanessa's case. "Maybe something can come out of it that will help Vanessa and others."
Guillen's story has touched many hearts. "The case of Vanessa Guillen is so personal to me because I see her and I see me, I see my little sister, I see someone who was someone's daughter, who is someone's sister, who is someone's friend, and the worst part about it is she is not the only one," Becky G told People CHICA. "The bigger conversation that we need to be having is, 'What do we do to demand change?'"
The #IAmVanessaGuillen bill would help ensure that the Texan soldier did not die in vain and that others won't suffer a similar fate. Becky G added: "It's so important in these times of injustice that we not only express our outrage and our anger and our disappointment in a system that has constantly failed so many women, people of color, the LGBT+ community ... but that we really channel this energy to make change."