HOUSTON - FOX 26 is remembering Vanessa Guillen who’s life was tragically stopped at the age of 20.
Wednesday was her 21st birthday and it was celebrated at her final resting place at Forest Park Funeral Home.
The family says it’s hard not having her here and they wish they could have seen her get married and have children.
RELATED: Groups come together to remember Vanessa Guillen
Her death at Fort Hood in April has sparked feelings of pain and frustration across the U.S.
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Vanessa’s birthday party brought in friends, but also those who have only heard her story.
“For her to be so young and for her to die like she did, it's horrible. I just had to be here to show my support,” said Joseph Mcgregor, a Houston resident.
RELATED: Hundreds say goodbye to Spc. Vanessa Guillen
Vanessa’s friend Ashely Macias says she was really excited to turn 21. And that she was going to celebrate her birthday by booking a trip with her best friend.
“Being here with her… we know deep down inside she’s still with us. We just want to keep her memory alive and celebrate with her,” said Macias.
Vanessa was a Houston native, an Army Specialist, and a loving big sister. The family says for many years she knew she wanted to serve in the Army.
RELATED: Artists create 20 murals around Houston area to honor Spc. Vanessa Guillen
But it was in April, according to federal officials, she was bludgeoned to death at Fort Hood by a fellow soldier.
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Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia announced on Wednesday new legislation to rename a post office in Houston after Vanessa, she writes: “Vanessa’s tragic death has been a wake-up call for the country regarding what has to be done to protect our young soldiers from potential harassment and sexual assault. Renaming this post office won’t bring Vanessa back, but it will serve as a constant reminder of her legacy for her family and the Houston region.”