HOUSTON - The family of murdered Fort Hood soldier Vanessa Guillen is preparing to meet with President Trump Thursday to discuss a bill that would help prevent what happened to the 20-year-old from ever happening to anyone else.
The “#IAmVanessaGuillen” bill was authored by the Guillen family’s attorney, Natalie Khawam. It would provide a 1-800 number outside of the military for military members to report and file sexual harassment claims.
“I don’t know a person in the world that doesn’t think that this is the greatest thing on earth,” said Khawam. “Everybody thinks it’s time.”
Khawam says Guillen’s family arrived in Washington, D.C. Wednesday morning and is ready for a big day Thursday, meeting the president about the new #IAmVanessaGuillen bill to help protect military victims of sexual harassment.
“We will march from the Capitol to the White House,” said Khawam. “At the White House we will go in, meaning the Guillen family and I will go to meet with the president.
The timeline of events below in EST:
8:30 a.m. - Press conference at the National mall
10 a.m. - America will march for Justice for Vanessa from the U.S. Capitol to the White House.
12 p.m. - Attorney Natalie Khawam will meet with President Trump with her clients, Vanessa Guillen family in the White House.
12:30 p.m. - President Trump will hold a press conference to support the #IamVanessaGuillen Bill
1 p.m. - Meet at the Ellipse: Attorney Natalie Khawam will discuss their meeting with President Trump and the next steps for everyone to take action for the #IamVanessaGuillen bill
The movement for greater protection of military sexual harassment and assault victims comes after 20-year-old army soldier Vanessa Guillen disappeared from Fort Hood in April and was found murdered by another soldier two months later.
Other victims of military sexual assault spoke out Wednesday on Capitol Hill, as the House Armed Services Military Personnel Subcommittee held its first hearing on Vanessa Guillen’s sexual harassment and murder.
Texas Congresswomen Sheila Jackson Lee and Sylvia Garcia also spoke and conducted questioning at the hearing.
“One of the issues in the culture of the United States military overall is that they equate discipline and the toughness of the military with dealing differently with human need,” said Jackson Lee.
Mark Cuban and the president of the National Organization for Women are among the speakers joining in support of the new bill Thursday at the Capitol.