AUSTIN, Texas — In homage to the Fort Hood soldier who was sexually harassed by another soldier and killed in 2020, the state of Texas could observe Sept. 30 as “Vanessa Guillén Day.” Her death compelled leaders to take a deeper look at the military’s response to sexual misconduct. 

The issue of sexual assault in the military hit home for many others in uniform. Thousands of soldiers spoke out in support of Guillén, sharing their own stories of sexual harassment and assault with the hashtag #IamVanessaGuillen

House Bill 2248 is “in memory of the life and tragic death of Vanessa Guillén and to increase awareness of and the military’s response to missing persons, sexual assault, and sexual harassment cases for service members.” Newly elected state Rep. Josey Garcia, D-San Antonio, filed the bill. Garcia is a part of the Defense & Veterans’ Affairs Committee and is the first female active-duty veteran to serve in the Texas House.

On March 23, Mayra Guillen, Vanessa’s sister, said she testified to the Defense & Veterans’ Affairs Committee in favor of the bill.

Excited after providing her testimonial, she posted on Twitter that the bill passed unanimously out of the Texas House Committee. Mayra is calling for everyone to contact their local representatives to boost support for the bill and make it law.

If Gov. Greg Abbott signs off on the bill, officiating the day of recognition, it would go into effect on Sept. 1, 2023.