I am proud to see how our community has reacted to the senseless loss of a beautiful young lady that was taken much too soon.

By A. Govea



We have shown our disgust and anger in peaceful marches, live protests, LULAC National President Domingo Garcia offered $25, 000 reward on behalf of LULAC for information about her disappearance. Most recently, with the aid of LULAC, her family, and others that loved her traveled to Washington D.C. to support the #IamVanessaGuillen bill. The support included a march and rally to support Vanessa and the law named for her. Their Washington advocacy included meeting with POTUS. The bill will allow active-duty members to file harassment and assault claims to a third-party agency instead of their chain of command. The law is designed to help provide protection and respect denied to Vanessa.  It is a way of saying, “Never Again.”


  The family and legal representation will meet with Trump about the bill with a press conference to follow. We must all pray that this bill passes for all the other Vanessas out there that may still be in the shadows. Pero, this does not for a minute mean it will be a slam-dunk as some following comments prove.  The reaction has been mostly of anger and disbelief that a soldier could disappear without a trace. However, some former Armed Forces Officers have been quoted as saying, “If anything of real value went missing, there would be a 24-hour lockdown until found”. A young Latina’s life was not considered something of value. Even more disgusting was a comment from LT. Colonel Betsy Schoeller (retired) on Facebook wrote on a thread about Guillen, paraphrasing, “Sexual harassment is the price of admission into the boys club if you cry like a snowflake you will pay the price.” 

  Ms. Schoeller now works as a senior lecturer at the University of Wisconsin and has stated in response, saying that they took her words out of context. She offered her condolences to the Guillen family and said (paraphrasing)that she is horrified by what happened and supports any harassment. The University has also stated on this issue and states that they expect all employees to adhere to proper behavior. If you want to believe her up to you, but I believe this may be more of an I am sorry I got caught “case.”

  You know that the main suspect in the murder committed suicide, and his female accomplice is now in custody. While he may have escaped judgment on the earth, he has now been judged by a higher power. If found guilty, she should be given the maximum sentence for her part in this horrendous crime. Having said all that, I know that nothing will bring her back to her family. Pero, we can make this tragic death count for something. First, the #Timesup has to apply to the military, “Any sexual or otherwise harassment will not be tolerated, and violators will be prosecuted both by military law and criminal law.” Next, I believe that her name must live on as a symbol of good in our community and this country. Please contact your congressional representatives and demand they support the #IamVanessaGuillen bill!

Further, there should be a yearly scholarship given in her honor all over this country—I for one pledge to this through LULAC Council 4568 that I am a member. Last, there are no words of condolences that I can offer to the family that would be enough, but know there are thousands that share your loss. May God be with you, the Guillen family, in this time of need. 


Breaking News: Family has now met with POTUS, and he and Army have announced a five-person civilian review board to review the culture at Fort Hood that may have lead to this. Not enough demand, Justice for Vanessa!  

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