Vanessa Guillen's death was 'in line of duty,' family entitled to benefits

The United States Army has ruled that Vanessa Guillen's death was 'in the line of duty.' This determination establishes that Vanessa's family is entitled to a variety of benefits for Vanessa’s service.

Typically these benefits include compensation to immediately help the family with expenses, a funeral with full military honors, the Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance, and final pay and allowances.

The Army briefed the Guillén family on Tuesday, October 20 on the results of the line of duty investigation into Spc. Vanessa Guillén’s death. The Army conducts a line of duty determination for all soldier deaths.

The III Corps leadership remains in contact with the Guillén family to keep them informed of the additional actions being taken at Fort Hood, and what policies are being revised to ensure Army culture continues to put people first and honors Vanessa’s life, according to a press release from Fort Hood.

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WHO IS VANESSA GUILLEN?

20-year-old Guillen disappeared April 22 between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. in the parking lot of Regimental Engineer Squadron Headquarters, 3rd Cavalry Regiment on Fort Hood, Texas.

On June 30, partial human remains were found close to the Leon River in Bell County in Texas, an area of interest in the search for Guillen. More remains were found in another shallow grave on July 1 and the remains were later identified to be Guillen's.

According to an affidavit, the Fort Hood specialist was bludgeoned to death by fellow Spc Aaron Robinson who later killed himselfRobinson's girlfriend Cecily Aguilar was arrested after she confessed to helping Robinson bury Guillen's body.

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Vanessa Guillen's disappearance and death were the first in a spate of missing and slain soldiers that have plagued the base. Multiple investigations into the “command climate and culture” have been launched following allegations of rampant sexual harassment and abuse.

“The numbers are high here. They are the highest in most cases for sexual assault, harassment, murders, for our entire formation in the U.S. Army,” Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said during a visit to Fort Hood this year.

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