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San Antonio Rally, March, Caravan Assure Vanessa Guillen's Family 'They Are Not Alone'

Members of the NoMas Movement brought together hundreds of people in San Antonio on Saturday to honor slain Fort Hood soldier Vanessa Guillen.

Organizers said they wanted "Vanessa's family to know they are not alone; we are standing by them until we get answers through an independent investigation, and see the responsible parties suffer the consequences of their actions."

The caravan followed marchers along a route from Milam Park at 500 Commerce St. to Yanaguana Park at Hemisfair Plaza.

Guillen's cousin spoke at the rally. He said the Guillen family plans to meet with President Donald Trump in late July to discuss passage of legislation that would take the chain of command out of the reporting process for sexual harassment, rape and sexual assault.

Saturday's event was not the only weekend event honoring Guillen. On Sunday, July 19, at noon, the owners of Sanchez Ice House at 701 Seguin St. planned to unveil a new mural celebrating both Guillen and Gregory Wedel Morales, another Fort Hood soldier.

According to recent news reports, Wedel Morales disappeared in August 2019, and the Army at first declared him a deserter. His remains were finally found in a shallow grave in June -- only days apart from when Guillen's remains were found -- and investigators believe he was killed. The Army reinstated Wedel Morales to active duty status, and he will be buried with military honors.

Saturday's caravan for Guillen came after a week that saw hundreds of cars and veterans in San Antonio call attention to violence and harassment in the military. Houston declared July 11 "Vanessa Guillen Day." And on Tuesday, Cecily Aguilar, a suspect in Guillen's disappearance, appeared in court in Waco, where she pleaded not guilty to one count of conspiracy to tamper with evidence and two substantive counts of tampering with evidence. No trial date has been set.

Jolene Almendarez can be reached at JoleneAlmendarez@gmail.com and on Twitter at @jalmendarez57.

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