Lifestyle, Military Spouse Stories

“Sexual assault is something that happens too often and something needs to be done”

I am Vanessa Guillen

For months, Vanessa Guillen’s family has been searching for answers since her disappearance in April.

Imagine searching for your son or daughter every second? Not knowing where they are, not knowing what happened. You’re searching for answers, but somehow no one seems to know anything. You try to be strong for your missing son or daughter, you try to be strong for the family. But deep down, you’re hurting. But it hurts more when your son/daughter’s second family lets them down. Hours, minutes, seconds go by, but no one knows anything. As your instinct tells you something is not right, you know someone out there knows where he/she is at.

Army Specialist Vanessa Guillen from Houston, Texas, went missing from the parking lot of her Regimental Engineer Squadron Headquarters, in Fort Hood, Texas. Vanessa’s car keys, barracks room key, identification card and wallet were later found in the armory room where she had been working earlier in the day.

According to the Guillen Family, they say Vanessa felt unsafe at Fort Hood, claiming someone was harassing her.Vanessa never told her mother the name of the accuser nor reported him to the unit.

Days went by since her disappearance and a reward was issued for any information regarding her whereabouts.

Yet no one had answers.

On July 1, the suspect connected to Vanessa’s disappearance committed suicide before being arrested by investigators. However, his alleged girlfriend Cecily Aguilar, was taken to custody and charged for helping the suspect, Aaron Robinson to dispose of Vanessa’s body.

Vanessa’s remains were found June 30. The Guillen family says the US Army Criminal Investigation Command never provided information about the suspect, or about the incident. The family lawyer says the suspect allegedly attacked Vanessa with a hammer then attempted to burn her body. When that didn’t work out the suspect and his girlfriend Cecily, dismembered Vanessa placing her remains in a shallow grave attempting to cover her in cement.

People all over the country have taken the streets to voice their frustration and anger of how the Army has let one of their soldiers down.

Today I had the privilege of attending my first protest ever. It wasn’t crazy, it wasn’t wild, it was just perfect. You see, one thing I love about Yuma is how strangers unite together and make you feel you’re right at home. Today was a moment for everyone to join together and talk about Vanessa, the tragedy she went through, and how this isn’t the first or last time it’s happened in the military.

I met some incredible people today who rushed from work to the protest to show their support for Vanessa’s family. You may be thinking, ‘Vanessa is not the only one, it’s happened to others, why this person in particular,’ and the answer is simple. It made it to national news because of Vanessa’s mother. Everyday she fought for her daughter, everyday Vanessa’s command would see her calling, everyday she begged local news stations for help regarding her daughter’s disappearance. This was a U.S. soldier who went missing without a trace. With no leads or clues to follow, the family kept fighting hard, for they knew Vanessa’s case wasn’t going to be swept under the rug.

This evening I met two incredible women who voiced their reason why they were there.

While protesting, I met Daniela and Penny, two women that were present to support the Guillen family through their pain and sorrows.

I asked Daniela why she decided to join the other protesters today and she replied, I’m trying to spread more awareness, sadly this happens every moment of the day. There’s at least one rape, one abuse.” I also asked her what message she had for the Yuma community in which she replied, Just participate in these protests because I know you guys retweet stuff online but it starts with your own community, right here right now, in this town. I know you want to go to L.A. and pride and all of that but you have to start here. Take baby steps, that’s what matters.”

Her friend Penny says as a mother to a little girl, this tragic event infuriates her, There’s been a lot of things going on lately and we want justice and we want accountability within the military industrial complex. We want murderers in uniforms to have accountability and to pay the consequences, they need to stop being protective.She continues to voice her concerns for Vanessa and her family by saying, It’s heartbreaking. As a women it’s heartbreaking and I’m a mother I have a child and that’s something I don’t wish upon anyone. The fact that they kept it from her for so long the fact that they didn’t do anything. I’m glad the family spoke up because this would be just like any other case that was hidden under the rug. Sexual assault is something that happens too often and something needs to be done.

To read more on Vanessa Guillen’s latest story, click here.

Lifestyle, Military Spouse Stories

Surviving the mom quarantined life

Well hello there! Welcome back to my page! I’ve been gone for quite sometime but that’s only because I’ve been super busy with work and school…oh and juggling my personal life.

Like all of you, well most of you, I’ve been staying at home attending to my duties of writing from home and pursuing my education. I’m hoping to graduate this fall, therefore I’ll have more “time” on my hands. But before I jump to this hectic lifestyle we are all living in, I hope each and everyone of you is safe and sound at home. I continuously pray for those who are affected by COVID-19 and hoping this ends soon.

Ok, ok, back to business.

These past couple of weeks have been C-R-A-Z-Y to say the least. Don’t get me wrong, I’m blessed and thankful to work from home. However, like most of you, I go crazy being at home! I get it, yes it’s for our safety and I’m totally okay with that. But when you have 3 crazy kids running around, having to feed them every other hour, and having to yell at them like 100 times to separate them from fighting, um yeah, it gets hectic.

Sometimes, I feel like my head is going to explode. I seriously feel like a computer memory (RAM). Oh my apologies, for those who don’t know what that is…According to, computer memory or random access memory (RAM) is your system’s short-term data storage; it stores the information your computer is actively using so that it can be accessed quickly. The more programs your system is running, the more memory you’ll need. 

Sheeesshhhh!!! I knew I wasn’t crazy! I knew I needed a bigger head for all this craziness in my life.

Unlike most of these cool moms, I don’t craft with my kids, I don’t bake with my kids, I do homework halfway with them, I drink 2 cups of coffee in the morning to “chill,” I absolutely have the TV on from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. (give me a break, the weather in Yuma is already in the triple digits), I do drink ONCE a week, I do shower everyday, I cook three meals a day (well, for the most part), I tend to go on walks with the family to release some stress, I am on my laptop 12 hours a day (between work and school), I have been saving more money, I have been eating LIKE shit for the most part, I don’t play video games or board games. Diet? what’s that? movies are my best friend, and I tend to go grocery shopping to get away from my family for at least an hour (trust me, you would do the same if you were in my shoes).

But I’m curious to know, how are you spending your life? What are you doing to cope and entertain yourself or your family?

Military Spouse Stories

Leaving Yuma with Love

Gibson Family 2018

Oh, the joys of being a military wife. One day you’re hanging out with your girlfriend when you suddenly get a call. It’s not just a call; it’s THE call. The call you’ve been patiently waiting for, the reason you’ll be stressing out for the next (drumroll) 3 months. Just when you thought you had your life put together, your home, even your job. After all these years, your kids are finally used to their school, they finally have friends in the neighborhood, and well you, you’ve finally made friends. Oh, but it’s not a seasonal friend, it’s family: a group of people you consider family that gets together on holidays and other special occasions. But when your phone rings and your husband gives you the news, it changes everything. For some, it’s a massive weight off our shoulders to finally know where you’ll be moving next. For others, it’s bittersweet. You see, being an adult is sometimes being like a kid. You find your comfort zone, and that makes you put together for the next couple of years. But one thing’s for sure, once you click with certain people, you never want to let go. You have your inner circle, the people you trust, the people who have been there when you’ve hit rock bottom — the people that know your darkest secrets, but also the people that are there to lift you when no one else understands. Your regular friends don’t quite follow you as your military friends do, which brings us back to moving away from the inner circle you’ve loved for the past three years.
I recently came across a spouse that recently found out she is PCSing to North Carolina where her husband Beau Gibson will be stationed on Camp Lejeune. Just by sitting down and hearing her story about her upcoming move, made me realize that not only does this affect our families. But as a military spouse, it affects us as well. I messaged Paige Gibson and asked her to meet with me to further discuss her experience from her move from Oceanside, California. To Yuma, Arizona.

MkAnahy: Paige, what was your first thought when you moved to Yuma, Arizona?

Paige: My first thought after finding out we were moving to Yuma, was a bit interesting. I had never heard of the place let alone knew it existed. When my family and I drove into this desert place in the middle of nowhere, I thought “holy crap, this is where I’m going to be living for the next three years? Really? The lettuce fields are cool to look at, but I’m nervous to be here.” As you can tell, I didn’t love it. I loved the house we first moved into, which was in the Foothills, approximately 15 minutes from base. We explored the place and found Yuma’s shopping mall, The Palms, drove around downtown and got passes to the water park which was honestly the best thing we could have done for our family! I got spoiled in Oceanside before moving to Yuma, so it took a few months to adjust to all the surroundings. I then realized my daughter loved her school and her friends and wanted to make it a positive move for her and eventually began to adjust to the area little by little. It’s a small place and easy to get around and to meet my friends here helped me see the good in Yuma.

Mk Anahy: When you got to Yuma, did you make friends right away? And if so, do you still talk to them?

Paige: Yes, well it took two months. My husband’s friend that he went to Intel school with was also PCSing to Yuma but didn’t get here until a month and a half after us. My husband said that his wife and I would get along well and turns out we did! She was my first friend here and still is to this day! I met a lot of couples after hosting BBQ’s and made friends with many cool people. People that turned into my best of friends! I hope they get stationed by us again!!

Mk Anahy: What were some of the challenges you faced while being stationed in Yuma? Was your husband gone all the time? If so did you look for resources to keep you busy? Did you work while being in Yuma? Did your husband’s workplace make sure to include your family in events and up to date with any training your husband had to attend?

Paige: Thinking back, some challenges I had in Yuma, was having to take care of my baby that was only a month old. I was fortunate enough to be able to stay at home with him while I’ve been here. A challenge was having to move on base after living off base for quite some time because the owner of the house we were renting from decided to put his home on the market. I’m so glad it happened because I was now closer to my friends, but I also feel safer living on base. It wasn’t the same for my daughter; it was challenging for her to switch schools. I contacted the school liaison on base, and she helped me narrow down the best school for my daughter to attend. When we moved to Yuma, I remembered the school liaison was a resource provided for the military families. My husband was gone during our first summer in Yuma with training in 29 Palms. Although I knew there were resources out there, I reached out to my friends for help. My husband’s shop was very communicative with the families. We hardly received any information regarding our husband’s training dates or any special events for the families. That was one thing I enjoyed from my husband’s old shop in Oceanside. They took care of the families and provided them with different resources.

Mk Anahy: What is the best thing that happened to you or your family while being stationed here? Why type of bond did you make with your inner circle that your regular friends back home will never understand?

Paige: The best thing that has happened here was my friends! My daughter (who is 10) made some great friends, and so did my husband, son and me. We have a special bond because we share somewhat the same experiences that most of my friends from back home don’t understand. It’s essential to have at least one loyal military spouse to talk throughout all your troubles with the military lifestyle. Being a military spouse is challenging but making friends have someone to talk to, or to have someone to have a few drinks with while watching movies keeps you sane. It also creates some memorable moments with the people you love the most!! Although we faced many challenges, we also learned to cherish the good memories every day and be grateful for the people you meet in your life.