Update: 10/26/16: Secretary Ash Carter told the Pentagon today that they are to immediately stop taking bonus money from the soldiers who re-upped ten years ago for the bonuses.
This next story is disgusting. The California National Guard lured soldiers into re-upping and serving in dangerous areas of the world during war with bonuses and now because the Guard is short money due to their own corruption, they have demanded the money back.
The California National Guard enticed thousands of soldiers with bonuses of $15,000 or more to reenlist and go to war and now they want the money back. The soldiers did nothing wrong and most or all no longer have the money because they received the bonuses ten years ago.
The military made a bureaucratic mistake and the California Guard received overpayments. There was widespread fraud and mismanagement by the Guard officials. They are putting their mistake on the backs of the soldiers, nearly 10,000 of them, many who served multiple combat tours.
They have not only been ordered to pay the money back, but to do it with interest charges, wage garnishments and tax liens if they refuse.
“These bonuses were used to keep people in,” said Christopher Van Meter, a 42-year-old former Army captain and Iraq veteran from Manteca, Calif., who says he refinanced his home mortgage to repay $25,000 in reenlistment bonuses and $21,000 in student loan repayments that the Army says he should not have received. “People like me just got screwed.”
They even took school loan money back!
In Iraq, Van Meter was thrown from an armored vehicle turret — and later awarded a Purple Heart for his combat injuries — after the vehicle detonated a buried roadside bomb.
Susan Haley, a Los Angeles native and former Army master sergeant who deployed to Afghanistan in 2008, said she sends the Pentagon $650 a month — a quarter of her family’s income — to pay down $20,500 in bonuses that the Guard says were given to her improperly.
“I feel totally betrayed,” said Haley, 47, who served 26 years in the Army along with her husband and oldest son, a medic who lost a leg in combat in Afghanistan.
Haley, who now lives in Kempner, Texas, worries they may have to sell their house to repay the bonuses. “They’ll get their money, but I want those years back,” she said, referring to her six-year reenlistment.
She served in Afghanistan and lost a leg!!! Are you kidding me??? This is Obama’s government.