THE family of slain Fort Hood soldier Vanessa Guillén said her alleged murder won't be in vain after a probe exposed “toxic” failings at the base.

The family of Guillén spoke out after the news that Fort Hood kicked out 14 commanders after the slaughter of their 20-year-old daughter, which sparked a probe into a string of 28 deaths and sexual assaults.

"I told the secretary of the force [Ryan McCarthy] that yes, it's very good that you caught some, but no, I want a case," Gloria Guillén, Vanessa's mother, said in Spanish.

"I want a case that uncovers the truth of what truly happened. What happened to my daughter, why was her murdered so cruel. She was not a cockroach, she was an innocent human and they killed her.

"And it wasn't just her, they did so to various soldiers. Fort Hood is corrupt, Fort Hood is the worst that could've happened to me because that's where my daughter died," added the mother.

The family's attorney Natalie Khawam said they are relieved to find out the truth from the findings of the independent probe and urged everyone watching the case to keep supporting the I Am Vanessa Guillén bill.

"Everybody is watching, everybody cares and that's important. Vanessa's death will not be in vain, it will live with us forever and we're all going to be apart of making that change, making that difference," Khawam said.

On Tuesday, Army Secretary McCarthy confirmed the purge of a "significant number" of senior officers based on findings of an independent review, which made 70 recommendations in total.

The Army will be briefed on the findings tomorrow but on Tuesday, McCarthy asked why it took Guillén's death to launch the Fort Hood probe after he appointed a five-member civilian panel to conduct the review in July.

Maj. Gen. Scott L. Efflandt, deputy commanding general (Support), III Corps, Col. Ralph Overland and Command Sgt. Maj. Bradley Knapp were all suspended, a press release said.

Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Bradwater and Comment Sgt. Maj. Thomas C Kenny were also ousted, pending the outcome of a new Army Regulation investigation of the 1st Cavalry Division’s command climate.

After Guillén's disappearance, the Independent Review Committee probed Fort Hood's command climate and culture, looking at incidents there as far back as 2014 and interviewing 503 women.

A whopping 93 of those woman were allegedly sexually assaulted – but only 59 women reported it,  in addition to the 217 unreported harassment claims.

After the briefing, McCarthy addressed the nation via a Twitter video link and said: "Over the past five months, I have asked an independent review committee to look into the command climate at Fort Hood, Texas.

"There are army-wide implications. Today, I am sharing the actions we are taking in response to that review and the observations, of the Chief, the Sergeant Major of the army and I, over the last five months.

"Leaders are responsible for the success or failure of their units, the welfare of their soldiers and the culture of their organizations.

"On December 8, I relieved or suspended 14 leaders in the chain of command at Fort Hood, Texas, for failing to provide our soldiers the leadership they deserve and a climate in which they could thrive."

He said in response to these findings, the Army had forced a People First Task Force to identify issues to address these issues and amended Army policy on "how we classify missing soldiers."

"There is no greater responsibility than caring for our nation's sons and daughters," McCarthy concluded, acknowledging that there was a great deal of work ahead and this was the first step.

"We must have service members at every level leading with conviction and moral authority."

In July, Guillén's body was unearthed in a shallow grave 20 miles east of Fort Hood, Texas.

The 20-year-old's body was so horrifically bludgeoned, dismembered and burned that investigators couldn't use dental records to identify the murdered soldier.

Instead, Khawam said cops had to use DNA from bone and hair samples to identify the corpse.

Federal and military investigators said Guillén was killed and dismembered by fellow soldier Aaron David Robinson, 20.

Robinson committed suicide a week before the discovery was made after authorities tried to contact him about the murder.

Local civilian called Cecily Aguilar, 22, was booked and charged with allegedly helping Robinson to mutilate and get rid of Guillén's remains.

At the time, Kwaham said in an interview that authorities told her Guillén was bludgeoned to death with a hammer, chopped up into pieces and later encased in concrete.

Aguilar allegedly confessed to being involved with attempting to dismember and hide Guillén's body, according to a detailed affidavit obtained by Crime Online.

Robinson reportedly told her that he had beaten a female soldier with a hammer, and she agreed to meet up with him that evening and help hack the victim's body apart, according to the confession.

They then allegedly buried Guillén in three separate shallow graves.

Aguilar is charged with one count of conspiracy to tamper with evidence.

Aguilar now faces up to 20 years in prison with a maximum $250,000 fine.

Congress began investigating the mysterious deaths, disappearances and sexual assaults in September.

The probe was headed by Democratic Representatives Stephen Lynch and Jackie Speier, who both chair the Committee on Oversight and Reform's Subcommittee on National Security and Committee on Armed Services' Subcommittee on Military Personnel, respectively.

The two subcommittees’ investigations focused on whether the recent deaths “may be symptomatic of underlying leadership, discipline and morale deficiencies throughout the chain-of-command."

The representatives vowed to release the probe’s findings to the families of the deceased soldiers “who may have been failed by a military system and culture that was ultimately responsible for their care and protection."

Fort Hood has more than 60,000 people including close to 37,000 service members.

Source: Read Full Article