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Spc. Vanessa Guillen remembered in memorial on Fort Hood

Vanessa Guillen's family and her fellow soldiers held a private memorial for the slain soldier on Fort Hood.

FORT HOOD, Texas — Vanessa Guillen's entire 3rd Cavalry Regiment held a memorial in her honor Friday during which she received full military honors, said League of United Latin American Citizens President Domingo Garcia.

Garcia said Guillen's mother, Gloria Guillen, also toured the armory where the Army Criminal Investigation Division said she was killed. Guillen brought her priest and they gave a blessing and rosary, Garcia said.

Guillen went missing from Fort Hood on April 22. Her remains were found on June 30 near the Leon River in Bell County. According to an affidavit, Aaron Robinson beat her to death with a hammer.

The Guillen family attorney, Natalie Khawam, said she and Guilen's family will continue to push for justice and for the #IAmVanessaGuillen bill to pass. The bill was set to be introduced to congress July 30. The family will meet with President Donald Trump July 29.

"We are the voice for justice for Vanessa. We demand justice for Vanessa. We will get justice for Vanessa," Khawam said. "We will meet with the president of the United States and we will let him know what happened, and we will not take anything less than justice. Not anything less than justice for Vanessa." 

Khawam went on to say she and the family appreciate the president's support in the case and will continue working with members of congress on the issue of sexual assault and harassment, saying it's a nonpartisan issue.

"Congress is responsible for passing this bill and the president is responsible for singing this bill," she said. "That means everyone is involved. It's not going to be polarized."

Guillen's sister, Lupe, gave an emotional speech demanding a congressional investigation and for Ford Hood leadership to be held accountable.

"They should not tolerate sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual abuse and rape. That's disgusting and a disgrace to the U.S. Army," Lupe said. "I want her leadership, chain of command to be questioned. If they couldn't accomplish their job, they why are they still there?"

Lupe also said the investigation into the sexual assault allegations and Guillen's disappearance was misleading. 

"How is it possible to be sexually harassed on base, how is it possible to go missing on base? No one saw, no one heard anything," Lupe said. "There are a bunch of holes in the story the whole investigation is misleading."

Fort Hood reports that several hundred people gathered inside the Spirit of Fort Hood Chapel for the memorial ceremony for Guillen.

A mural of Guillen along with dozens of candles were set up at Fort Hood St. and Rancie Ave. where the family, Khawam and Garcia spoke.

A protest called 'Justice for All Soldiers' was scheduled to last all day long beginning at 9 a.m., in hopes of bringing to light what protesters call Fort Hood's treatment of missing soldiers.

Anyone planning to attend was asked to wear a mask at all times and no violence or destruction of property is allowed, including the blocking of public streets.

LULAC also planned a protest beginning at 4 p.m. near the intersection of North Fort Hood St. and West Rancier Ave. LULAC said they will also hold a recitation of the Rosary Prayer at 7 p.m. in the same location. The public was invited to attend.

AnaLusia Tapia, a District Director for LULAC, said their voices need to be heard to ensure lawmakers in Washington, D.C. begin to support the #IAmVanessaGuillen bill.

6 News will have full and complete coverage throughout the day on all of our social media platforms and at 5, 6 and 10 p.m. tonight.

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