The Army put more effort into naming a gate after Vanessa Guillen than they did actually finding her
Vanessa Guillen, 20, went missing from Fort Hood on April 22 and her dismembered remains were found three months later on June 30
The backlash against the U.S. Army was swift after it was announced Vanessa Guillen is to be memorialized with a gate at the Fort Hood Army base in Texas, in her honor.
The 20-year-old Fort Hood soldier was murdered and was missing for months before her remains were found in June.
Guillen’s family members said that plans to remember her through the construction of a memory gate was ‘progress’ but judgement on social media was far more critical.
‘The Army put more effort into naming a gate after Vanessa Guillen than they did actually finding her. Let that serve as a reminder of just how much the US military views women as afterthoughts,’ wrote @mistermegative.
‘So Fort Hood is building a gate to honor Vanessa Guillen. May she RIP. But all kidding aside, wtf is that going to do for her family? #ShutDownFortHood,’ added @elxindio.
One person seemed in favor of the gate. ‘It’s a nice gesture and the least they could do,’ Allen Miner tweeted.
There are plans for a memorial gate to be erected in memory of Vanessa Guillen who was murdered on the base in April of this year. This is a graphic of what it might look like
‘Vanessa’s life was a catalyst for us to implement action to improve trust, discipline, and teamwork across our formations,’ commanding general at the base, Lt. Gen. Pat White III, said. Pictured, another idea for a gate constructed in Vanessa Guillen’s memory
Speaking on Tuesday, Guillen’s family members said that plans to remember her through the construction of a memory gate was ‘progress’
Many on Twitter thought the idea of a gate was a poor effort by the U.S. Army
‘The VERY, VERY, VERY least they could do. Sexual harassment in the ranks of the military has been going on for decades and next to nothing is done to hold those who do it accountable,’ @ALT_MyName responded.
‘A Gate?? Really?? That’s it?’ asked @86LuisPal.
‘Vanessa Guillen gets a gate named after her, whoopty f****** do, now what’s the Army actually going to do to take care of its people and make sure this never happens again?’ asked another concerned Twitter user.
‘Vanessa Guillen deserves justice, not a gate,’ Tweeted Farrah Parkes.
‘Ah. Yes. That’s what she needed. That’s what her memory needed.. How you have let her down, how there won’t be justice for her or her family. You took it all away… Disgusting,’ wrote Mary.
‘Hahaha a fkn gate.. are you serious. Shut down the whole base! How about that?’ added another furious user.
‘A PR move that does not address the callous lack of concern for the quality of life for the junior enlisted troops at Fort Hood. The entire chain of command on that post needs a serious re-alignment about protecting its troops from predators and not just getting boxes checked,’ said Lem Genovese.
There were some strong reactions to the announcement of a memory gate on Twitter
Relatives of the soldier were at the base in Texas on Tuesday to meet with Fort Hood leaders to give their input on the gate’s design.
The family was invited to ‘discuss and review design concepts and survey a proposed site of a gate we plan to name in Vanessa’s honor,’ said commanding general, Lt. Gen. Pat White III.
‘Their input is important for our final design that will come to fruition over the next few months,’ White added.
‘Vanessa’s life was a catalyst for us to implement action to improve trust, discipline, and teamwork across our formations,’ he said.
‘In recent weeks, we began a ‘People First’ initiative that ensures soldiers, families, and civilians are always at the core of what we do.’
The gate would be placed at an area that leads to the 3rd Calvary Regiment where Guillen served
The gate would be placed at an area that leads to the 3rd Calvary Regiment where Guillen served. Thousands of soldiers, civilians and families would pass through it every day according to ABC13.
‘They paid attention and it means a lot compared to the first couple of months that we had to struggle so much to find her,’ said Lupe Guillen, Vanessa’s sister during a press conference.
Vanessa’s mother revealed that a new investigation is underway but the details can’t yet be disclosed.
Military officials plan on releasing information at the end of November.
Guillen, 20, was last seen in the parking lot of her barracks at the post on April 22.
The keys to her car and her barracks room and her ID card and wallet were later found in the armory room where she had worked earlier in the day.
Days earlier she told family members that she had been sexually harassed at the base.
Her remains were discovered in a shallow grave weeks later on June 30, near Leon River in Bell County, about 20 miles east of the base.
Guillen’s story led to a powerful sexual harassment reckoning within the Army
Officials named the main suspect in her disappearance as Spc. Aaron David Robinson.
Robinson, 20, killed himself on July 1 after police confronted him in Killeen, according to the US Army Criminal Investigation Command.
Two days later, federal authorities filed a criminal complaint charging 22-year-old Cecily Aguilar, the estranged wife of a former Fort Hood soldier, with conspiracy to tamper with evidence in Guillen’s disappearance.
According to court documents, Robinson told Aguilar he killed Guillen ‘by striking her in the head with a hammer’ on April 22 and then smuggled her body to a remote site in Bell County. Aguilar allegedly helped Robinson mutilate and dispose of Guillen’s body.
Aguilar is charged with three felony counts of conspiracy to tamper with evidence. She has pleaded not guilty, and a court hearing has been set for November 30th.
A federal complaint released July 2 identified 20-year-old soldier Specialist Aaron Robinson (left) as her killer. The complaint said he killed Guillen by hitting her in the head with a hammer and he enlisted the help of his girlfriend Cecily Aguilar (right) to help dispose of her remains
Fort Hood officials said in the past they were unaware of any sexual harassment reports involving Robinson, but there is an ongoing investigation.
Guillen’s story led to a powerful sexual harassment reckoning within the Army.
On September 16 a bipartisan bill called the ‘I Am Vanessa Guillén Act’ was introduced in Guillen’s memory. It will make sexual harassment a crime within the Uniform Code of Military Justice and move prosecution decisions about sexual harassment and assault out of the military chain of command.
‘The murder of Specialist Vanessa Guillén has become a catalyst highlighting sexual harassment and sexual assault within the military,’ Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy said during a visit to the base in August.
‘Vanessa’s story has served as a tipping point where survivors spoke out on social media and shared their own trauma. We must honor her memory by creating enduring change as one harassment and one assault is one too many,’ he added.
On September 16 a bipartisan bill called the ‘I Am Vanessa Guillén Act’ was introduced in Guillén’s memory. It will make sexual harassment a crime within the Uniform Code of Military Justice