Army: Guillen Died 'in the Line of Duty'

That means murdered Fort Hood soldier's family is entitled to benefits
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 21, 2020 10:10 AM CDT
Army: Vanessa Guillen's Family Entitled to Benefits
Lupe Guillen, left, and Gloria Guillen, Vanessa Guillen's sister and mother, speak during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington on Sept. 16.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

The family of murdered Ford Hood soldier Vanessa Guillen is entitled to military benefits, according to the US Army, which has classified Guillen's death as occurring "in the line of duty." The 20-year-old soldier disappeared from an armory at the Texas base on April 22. Her family's lawyer has said Army investigators determined fellow soldier Aaron David Robinson attacked Guillen with a hammer in the armory, which was "splashed" with her blood. Guillen had planned to file a harassment complaint against Robinson, who may have become enraged when she told him, per CNN. Robinson, 20, shot and killed himself when officers encountered him on July 1. Guillen's body had been found about 30 minutes from Fort Hood the previous day, per USA Today.

Robinson's girlfriend, Cecily Aguilar, 22, is charged with helping Robinson dismember and dispose of Guillen's body, which is thought to have been taken from the base in a weapons case, per the Austin American-Statesman. A hearing is set for Nov. 30. In a statement, the Army says Guillen's family is "entitled to a variety of Army benefits for Vanessa's service to our nation," which typically include "compensation to immediately help the family with expenses, funeral with full military honors, the Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance, and final pay and allowances." This follows introduction of the "I Am Vanessa Guillen Act," a bipartisan House bill that aims to make sexual harassment punishable under the Uniform Code of Military Justice and transfer prosecution of sexual assault and harassment cases away from the military, per CNN. (Read more Vanessa Guillen stories.)

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