HOUSTON - Thursday marked a bittersweet moment for Vanessa Guillen's family and all those involved as they were able to look back on their efforts to honor and remember the Fort Hood Soldier.
"She loved Houston, she couldn’t wait to come back every weekend," said Myra, Vanessa's sister.
The federal law, ‘I Am Vanessa Guillen" Act was signed by President Biden on December 27th and took effect on January 1st.
These changes are one of the most significant changes to the military justice system. The measure for the first time would strip authority from military command and give it to independent prosecutors when involving allegations of sexual assault and other serious crimes.
"I can't believe I've already lived two years without her," said Myra. "The passage of the bill, it’s something that’s very big to us. "
The bill was included in a $770 Billion dollar National Defense Authorization Act. The author of a similar state law, Senator Cesar Blanco, who is also a veteran, says the family’s love moved mountains.
"Mountains were moved to honor Vanessa," said Blanco. "Vanessa Guillen shed light on how the system fails to protect our heroes."
The Guillen family hoping the new laws will help others to speak up. And they tell us, they are very grateful for the backing of the city Vanessa loved so much.
"We were born and grew up here in Houston, to have all this support it means a lot," Myra added.