FORT HOOD (CBSDFW.COM/CNN) — A caravan of dozens of families made its way to Fort Hood over the weekend to protest how the military handles cases like the murder of Pfc. Vanessa Guillen, who disappeared from the military installation on April 22.
Protestor Jenni Ortega said, “After learning about her story, we learned about several other soldiers who had basically been left behind at Fort Hood as well.”
Soldiers like Specialist Kamisha Block who was killed in 2007. “She was stationed here at Fort Hood and she was on deployment for about two months in Iraq when she got killed. It was by her squad leader,” her sister, Shonta Block, explained.. “Turns out that she was actually shot 5 times… many people reported it to the NCOs [and] they turned their head.”
Block made her way to Bell County from Beaumont for the demonstration outside the gates of Fort Hood. She stood alongside a number of military families who have similar stories, like Gold Star mother Sue Reddybemis from Ohio. “What I would like to say about my son is the facts don’t add up,” she said.
Investigators believe two suspects dismembered specialist Guillen’s body and attempted to burn it after she was bludgeoned to death. Human remains found near the Leon River on June 30 have since been confirmed to be those of the missing soldier.
The families protesting said Guillen’s murder sparked the call for change that they’ve waited years for. “Vanessa opened the door that we’ve been banging at, for some of us 13 years,” said Block. “What’s the problem is leadership is not being held accountable and what’s the solution is we need investigations.”
Earlier this week, 88 members of Cngress called for a larger investigation into Fort Hood’s handling of Guillen’s case.