Gateway Wing Hosts 24-hour Walk in Honor of SPC Guillen

  • Published
  • By Capt. Kayshel Trudell


*** Event VIDEO can be viewed on Facebook and YouTube ***

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The 37th Training Wing hosted a 24-hour walk in honor of fallen U.S. Army SPC Vanessa Guillen, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, 25-26 July, 2020. The event was used as an opportunity to promote dialogue and unity while reiterating the Air Force’s zero tolerance towards sexual misconduct and interpersonal violence.

“It’s always powerful to see our people come together and rally around a cause,” said Chief Master Sgt. Stefan Blazier, 37th TRW command chief. “It is needed now as much as ever, because it’s the only way that pain can become purpose.”

The effort was led by four ladies, two members of the Inter American Air Force’s Academy team, Technical Sgt. Alejandra Avila and Staff Sgt. Soleine Izquierdo, a Military Working Dog handler, Staff Sgt. Melissa Garcia and a member from security hill, Staff Sgt. Monique McDonald. The four IAAFA teammates, along with 24 other volunteers, organized the event which was open to all Dod ID card holders.

“I’m extremely proud of the four ladies who made this event possible,” said Blazier. “This team knew many needed something...something which showed what we stood for.  And to demonstrate how many want to be part of the solution.  They are what leadership looks like.”

More than 240 participates took walking shifts over the 24-hour period to honor Guillen while adhering to social distancing and CDC guidelines. Members used this time to reflect on injustice, talk to their teammates about its impact, and discussed ways to move forward in a healthy way that prevents injustices from reoccurring.

Opening and closing remarks were made by members of the 37 TRW leadership team, who encouraged open communication on topics like sexual assault and other issues that impact Airmen and humanity.

A Sexual Assault Prevention and Response representative was present and available for participants to talk with and ask questions to throughout the event.  

This event was an opportunity for the 37th TRW Warhawk Family and JBSA Community to join as one voice against injustice.

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