Army determines Vanessa Guillen's death was 'in the line of duty'

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Wednesday, October 21, 2020
March held in Houston in honor of Vanessa Guillen's birthday
RELIVE THE MOMENT: Five months after the soldier's death, the family of Vanessa Guillen held a special march to celebrate what would have been the soldier's 21st birthday. Watch to see it all.

FORT HOOD, Texas -- The family of Vanessa Guillen, the Fort Hood Army specialist who was killed on base, is now entitled to her full military benefits, the U.S. Army announced.

In a statement released on Tuesday, the Army's investigation concluded that Guillen's death was "in the line of duty."

"This determination establishes that the Guillen family is entitled to a variety of Army benefits for Vanessa's service to our nation," read the statement.

Typically, these benefits include money to help the family with expenses, the service member's Group Life Insurance along with final pay and allowances.

The Army conducts a line of duty determination for all soldier deaths.

Investigators said Guillen was bludgeoned to death at Fort Hood by Spc. Aaron Robinson, who killed himself on July 1 as police were trying to take him into custody.

Guillen's family has said Robinson had sexually harassed her, but the Army has said there is no evidence supporting the claim.

Last month, friends and family of Guillen celebrated what would have been her 21st birthday, and they're still fighting for justice for the Army specialist.

"Five months have passed and yet still no accountability or justice for us," Vanessa's sister Lupe Guillen said at the time.

Meanwhile, a bill in honor of Guillen is being deliberated in Washington, D.C.

If passed, the #IAmVanessaGuillen bill would allow active duty members to file sexual harassment and assault claims to a third party.

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Vanessa Guillen's legacy enters Capitol Hill in the form of a bipartisan bill aimed at reforming sexual assault in the military. The video breaks down what has gone into getting to this point.


What led to 28 soldiers' deaths from 1 Army base? Congress wants to know

Congress is stepping in and investigating the disappearances and deaths of soldiers at Fort Hood. Watch the video above for more details on the cases involved.

Timeline offers look at tragedy and legacy of Ft. Hood soldier Vanessa Guillen

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH: How has the military handled Vanessa Guillen's case? What does her family know about the suspects in her disappearance? Hit play to hear their answers.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.