For one Houston family, this was the first New Year's celebration without their loved one.
US Army Specialist Brandy Fonteneaux was stabbed and choked in her barracks last January 8th.
Her superior officer, Sgt. Vincinte Jackson, was charged with the crime. At his court-martial, last month, Jackson admitted he killed the 28 year old TSU graduate.
"When he did get on the stand and talk, he said he sees Brandy's face every day. Which is something I hope he sees for the rest of his life," said Bevenley Thomas, Fonteneaux's aunt.
After hearing the evidence, a military panel at Ft. Carson in Colorado convicted Sgt. Jackson. When their decision was announced, the victim's mother says it took her a moment to wrap her brain around the words.
"My breath was taken away," said Verona Fonteneaux. "I had to let my sister know I couldn't breathe."
Jackson's punishment was assessed as life in prison, with the possibility of parole.
And Brandy Fonteneaux's family says they will fight against his appeal seeking a reduction in the sentence.
"As long as there's a Fonteneaux living -- and the youngest one is 4 months old -- we're going to keep him in there," said Verona Fonteneaux.
The soldier's family tells FOX 26 News they have attempted to contact the Pentagon and the White House, trying to obtain presidential recognition of their loss.
But so far they say there has been no response from President Obama.
"Brandy was murdered on US soil, in her bed, asleep," said Thomas. "And I believe that he should acknowledge that. She was murdered by a non-commissioned officer. I think the president should pick the phone up and call us."