'I will help': Pres. Trump pledges to pay for Vanessa Guillen's funeral

BySteve Campion WABC logo
Thursday, July 30, 2020
Pres. Trump pledges to pay for Vanessa Guillen funeral
Hit play to go inside the Oval Office where the family of Ft. Hood soldier Vanessa Guillen sought legislative support from Pres. Trump. It turns out, they got a lot more than that.

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- During a meeting between Vanessa Guillen's family members and President Donald Trump at the White House on Thursday, the president told them that they have his support and that he will personally help with funeral expenses.

"If you need help with the funeral financially, I will help," the president told the family in the Oval Office.

Before the meeting, family members expressed their purpose on taking Vanessa's story to the top.

"The president is talking to me. I'm not nervous to speak to him because this has to stop. I don't want to hear another woman or man was found dead at Fort Hood. I don't want to hear another woman or man was sexually assaulted, abused or raped," said Lupe Guillen, Vanessa's sister.

RELATED: Vanessa Guillen's custom casket donated by designer of Maleah Davis' casket

Ahead of the meeting with the president, several dozen demonstrators joined the family at a rally calling for Fort Hood officials to be held accountable for Guillen's death and for better investigations of harassment in the military.

"Fort Hood is supposed to be held accountable. Leadership has to be held accountable," said Lupe, while speaking to a crowd outside the U.S. Capitol.

Supporters marched from the rally at the U.S. Capitol to the White House.

WATCH: Vanessa Guillen's family leads rally in Washington

"We are here to demand justice for Vanessa," said the family's attorney, Natalie Khawam.

The proposed, #IAmVanessaGuillen bill, would let service members file sexual assault and harassment claims to a third party, rather than their chain of command.

SEE RELATED STORY: Fort Hood soldier Vanessa Guillen may have been harassed, Army officials said

The bill comes after hundreds of Fort Hood service members have come forward with their experience on the base.

SEE RELATED STORY: President Trump shares sentiments on Vanessa Guillen's death

On Wednesday, lawmakers held the first congressional hearing regarding Vanessa and sexual harassment on the base.

"In an institution that prides itself in cohesiveness to leave no soldier, we are failing," said California Congresswoman Jackie Speier.

Supporters are hoping by making their voices heard, Vanessa's won't be lost.

SEE RELATED STORY: Military confirms body found was that of Vanessa Guillen

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