The injustice that Vanessa Guillén suffered while in the military is indescribable.
In 2020, Guillén was brutally murdered at the Fort Hood military base, and, since then, her family has been seeking justice. Their heartache has led them to ensure the United States government is held accountable for the actions that transpired while she served, which include sexual harassment, abuse, assault, rape, sodomy, and wrongful death. Currently, they are seeking $35 million dollars for the government to rectify this terrible reality.
The outrage Guillén’s family felt was shared by many people. From women advocacy groups to the Latine community, Guillén’s death has not been taken lightly. Though the path to justice continues, some small wins have been obtained.
For instance, Texas declared that it will now have a “Vanessa Guillén Day,” which will take place on September 30th, in her honor. This happens to be Vanessa Guillén’s birthday as well. She would’ve turned 24 this year.
According to KWTX 10, House Bill 2248 dedicated “Vanessa Guillén Day in memory of the life and tragic death of Vanessa Guillén and to increase awareness of and the military’s response to missing persons, sexual assault, and sexual harassment cases for service members.” The day of honor goes into effect on September 1st, 2023, as per the bill.
Mayra Guillén reacts to ‘Vanessa Guillén Day’
As soon as the bill passed, Guillén’s sister, Mayra Guillén, tweeted about it.
“VANESSA!! your birthday, September 30th, is now OFFICIALLY VANESSA GUILLEN DAY IN THE STATE OF TEXAS ilysm sister. The bill has been passed! I literally just testified…”
VANESSA!! your birthday, September 30th is now OFFICIALLY VANESSA GUILLEN DAY IN THE STATE OF TEXAS ❤️❤️ ilysm sister. The bill has been passed! I literally just testified… pic.twitter.com/1Zz7y4A3me
— Mayra Guillen (@mguilen_) March 23, 2023
The bill was spearheaded by state Rep. Josey Garcia (D-San Antonio).
There is still a long way to go until justice is finally served, but this is a good step toward it. Who knows, maybe “Vanessa Guillén Day” will be a day of honor nationally in the future.