In the heat and under sunny skies in Killeen Friday, chanting rang out near one of the entrances to Fort Hood.
“Donde esta (Where is) Vanessa?” cried Gloria Guillen, the mother of missing Fort Hood soldier Pfc. Vanessa Guillen.
“Queremos a (We want) Vanessa!” shouted other family members and supporters.
The honks of several vehicles passing by also filled the air.
Several dozen friends and family members gathered at all four corners of the intersection of North Fort Hood Street and West Rancier Avenue.
Many of the demonstrators held signs saying things such as “Where is Vanessa?” and “Missing soldier.”
Some were dressed in green shirts, symbolizing the color of a Houston-based human rights organization, Alianza Latina Internacional, that helped Guillen’s family organize the demonstration.
Friday marked exactly one month since the day Guillen was last seen, according to Fort Hood officials.
Guillen, a soldier with 3rd Cavalry Regiment, was last seen April 22.
A news release that the Fort Hood Press Center sent April 24 said, “Her car keys, barracks room key, identification card and wallet were later found in the armory room where she was working earlier in the day.”
Megan Glass, a Gatesville resident, came to Killeen to hold a sign and demonstrate.
“We felt like it was our responsibility to do what we could to help,” she said of her reason to attend the demonstration. “She’s a soldier, and she’s a Texan.”
Glass said she feels like everybody that was demonstrating was there for a common goal — to find Guillen and help bring peace to the family.
Mayra Guillen, an older sister of Vanessa Guillen, said she was pleased with the turnout.
“It’s amazing how people that we don’t even know came out to show their support,” she said.
One of Vanessa Guillen’s cousins, Gerardo Guillen, said he also appreciated the support.
He said the unanswered questions have been overwhelming for the family.
“We thought it was very strange,” he said. “She was here in the military base. Usually soldiers that fight for our country and stuff, they’re always safe here.”
Mayra Guillen and the family came from Houston a few days ago, and she said more demonstrations will be planned if necessary.
Dora Galdamez, vice president of LULAC Herencia No. 4297 in Killeen, shared Mayra Guillen’s sentiments.
“We are thinking about making shifts and continue doing the same thing, because we don’t want her to be forgotten,” she said.
Galdamez, who is a retired sergeant first class, spoke of the impact of Guillen’s disappearance, regardless of circumstances.
“We are missing a soldier,” she said. “We are not complete until she comes home.”
Fort Hood officials said in a news release Thursday that hundreds of soldiers searched for Guillen in the few days after she was last seen.
The Army’s Criminal Investigation Command is heading the investigation. Other agencies are assisting, including the Texas Rangers, the Texas Department of Public Safety and the FBI, the release said.