In late April, U. S. Army Private First Class Vanessa Guillen disappeared. We now know that she was murdered on April 22, the same date she was reported missing. The murder occurred in her workplace. Her remains were found some 30 miles from Fort Hood.
The United States Army must answer questions that this patriot’s family is asking and get those answers as soon as possible. They owe that to her memory and to her grieving family.
We know one suspect is in custody and another dead from self-inflicted gunshot wounds. The deceased solider is being described by Army officials as “a coworker and not a supervisor.”
Guillen, who was promoted to Specialist E-4 in July, worked as a Small Arms Repair Specialist. She had enlisted in the Army in June 2018.
From all accounts she was a good solider and was a solid team player for the 3rd Calvary Regiments engineer squadron. This makes her disappearance and murder that more difficult to comprehend.
Her killer may have been harassing her, according to family and media reports. It is not yet known if the harassment was reported to Fort Hood’s chain of command. It has been said that Specialist Guillen was afraid to report the alleged harassment for fear of retaliation.
Our military is roughly 20 percent women. These omen who are serving with distinction are patriotic. They are enlisted members, non-commissioned officers, warrant officers, and commissioned officers. They are also moms trying to parent children. They serve in what seems like an endless fight in a global war on terror. We need more women in our ranks. Things like this will make parents and potential member pause and ask, “Is it safe to serve?” Service is dangerous. Training, deployment, combat, are all part of the risk we take by enlisting. Sexual harassment and murder aren’t what members or parents expect .
Recently, Fort Hood Investigators have opened up an investigation into the sexual harassment allegations. They continue to investigate the murder as well.
The lone suspect that is in custody at the Bell County Texas jail and will likely face federal charges. She is the girlfriend of the solider who committed suicide when Army investigators were closing in on him. She apparently shared details of the murder and those reports are horrific.
The Defense Department has worked hard to develop and enforce strict anti-harassment policies for each branch of the Armed Forces. The Department of the Army must make every effort to thoroughly and rapidly investigate this murder and alleged harassment.
Soldiers, Marines, Sailors, and Airmen are entitled to serve in n harassment-free environment. A zero tolerance policy exists for harassment. To protect those who serve, we must have answers and we must have them soon.
The United States Army is the finest Army in the world. It is is the best trained, best equipped, and most diverse force we have ever fielded. From the Chief of Staff of the Army right down to the new recruit, our Army must always be transparent, truthful, and above reproach. When wrongdoing occurs, it should be reported .
The Guillen family deserves answers and President Trump, Secretary Esper, Leader McConnell, and Speaker Pelosi should seek a full and complete investigation.
- Vanessa Guillen: crimeonline.com