PFC VANESSA GUILLEN

Regimental Engineer Squadron, 3rd Calvary Regiment, Fort Hood, TX

April 22, 2020

Vanessa Guillen enlisted in the Army in June 2018, shortly after graduating high school and became a small arms repairer. She arrived at Fort Hood's 3rd Cavalry Regiment in December 2018. Vanessa, a 20-year-old Houston native, was reported missing in late April. She was last seen working in one of the regiment's arms room. More than two months later, her remains were found along the Leon River more than 20 miles from the base. 

Soldiers of the 3rd Cavalry Regiment held a memorial service to honor the life of Spc. Vanessa Guillen who was killed by another soldier on April 22nd. 

Guillen's family attended the closed service, as did Fort Hood commanders and Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville. 

"This is difficult to discuss because the tragedy of her loss has forever changed our squadron and it has forever changed her family," Lt. Col. Edward Gavin, the engineer squadron commander, said during the ceremony, according to the base release. "We wrestle with feelings of anger, depression, anxiety, fear, frustration and sadness. And, we have so many questions, some of which may never be answered." 

"Even though she has tragically died young, her legacy will be long lasting. Bringing a great deal of change within the military and she's Houston's own. That's what makes us so very proud."

Left to cherish her memory are her parents Rogelio and Gloria Guillen; siblings Mayra Guillen, Yovana Guillen, Guadalupe Guillen, Manuel de Jesus Guillen and Roger Guillen; grandmother Lorenza Almanza, Aunt Alma Rosa Garcia, and Uncle Alejandro Guillen; friends Jocelyn Sierra, Frida Hernandez, Ashley Macias, Tania Moreno, Evelyn Hernandez and boyfriend Juan Crus, numerous extended family members and friends. 

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