Congressmen Gonzalez and Vela Call for Military Reform and Civilian Oversight on Sexual Misconduct Claims


WASHINGTON - On Monday, Congressmen Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15) and Filemon Vela (TX-34) issued statements calling for action and oversight in regards to the tragic death of Spc. Vanessa Guillen:

“The gulf between what must happen and what is happening in our military is no more apparent than in the events surrounding the sexual harassment and death of Spc. Vanessa Guillen and the reprehensible remarks made by Lt. Colonel. Betsy Schoeller. This behavior has no place in our military and the culture of our Armed Forces has to change,” said Congressman Gonzalez. “It’s clear the military is incapable of policing themselves and I join Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Congresswoman Jackie Speier, and Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia in calling for an independent investigation into the cruel and disturbing death of this brave young soldier. It is time to demand civilian oversight, accountability, and reform. The family of Spc. Vanessa Guillen and all who are affected by these tragic events deserve more than our thoughts and prayers. They deserve action and answers.”

“I would like to express my deepest condolences to the family of Vanessa Guillen. Vanessa was fulfilling her childhood dream to serve our nation while in training at the Fort Hood United States Army post. For Vanessa, Fort Hood was more dangerous than Iraq or Afghanistan. Her brutal murder on the army compound is simply difficult to comprehend,” said Congressman Vela.” The underlying revelation that she was subjected to sexual harassment prior to her death requires both military and congressional investigations and actions to ensure that those responsible for the circumstances that led to her inexplicable death are held accountable.”