I can’t even begin to understand what happened to PFC Vanessa Guillen. All that i know is that she was sexually harassed, threatened and harmed while being stationed at Fort Hood, Texas. And then she went missing. And then, on July 1st, her remains were found along the Leon River. She was only 20 years old.
What happened to Vanessa Guillen was extremely horrifying. And the fact that she had to survive a different kind of war – where the enemy may have been your superior officers, or someone close to them – is frightening. Many soldiers, past and present, have stepped up and talked about their ordeals in surviving sexual harassment and assault.
One soldier in particular spoke volumes.
You might know him if you read this blog.
This is what my child put up while serving as a specialist in the Army National Guard. Think about that for a moment. Back in another life, my kid was being assaulted and sexually harassed by her superiors. And Kris reported the tormentors. And Kris was disbelieved for telling the truth.
Kris posted a message on his Facebook wall after the discovery of Vanessa Guillen’s body. In this video, he talks about what members of the National Guard have gone through, about how the President has let them down (including shortening their deployments so that they would be days away from receiving bonuses), and how military culture has to change to protect its soldiers and sailors from abuse and harassment.
I asked if I could repost the video on my blog. He said that would be fine.
It is here. Watch and understand.
Think about this during the 4th of July weekend.