This is unbelievable… Military veterans are being forced to pay back the bonuses they received when they re-enlisted to serve in Iraq and Afghanistan.
In the mid-2000s, at the height of the wars, the Pentagon began offering signing bonuses to soldiers in order to convince them to re-enlist. The US military could not afford to let experienced soldiers retire and re-enlistment rates were sinking.
So, people who re-enlisted in the National Guard were offered hefty bonuses. In California, bonuses got as high as $25,000 for experienced soldiers in hard-to-fill roles.
For many, this was enough money to convince them to re-enlist. They signed on the dotted-line and re-enlisted. Some were injured and others ended up paying the ultimate sacrifice.
Now, nearly a decade later, the Federal Government is rescinding the offer and demanding these bonuses back.
Just when I thought this administration could stoop no lower…
The Pentagon conducted an audit and found that the soldiers who re-enlisted in the California National Guard in the mid-2000s received signing bonuses that were too large.
The recruiter offered the bonuses, the soldiers accepted, and now after they all have fulfilled the obligations of that contract, the government wants its money back.
It’s just unbelievable. Some of these veterans feel like they have no choice but to give the government the money back, even though they can’t afford to.
Robert Richmond decided to re-enlist when he was notified that he qualified for a $15,000 bonus because he was in Special Forces.
He ended up suffering permanent back and brain injury when a roadside bomb exploded next to his vehicle.
“I signed a contract that I literally risked my life to fulfill,” Richmond says. So you can understand why he is furious about being forced to pay back his bonus.
All in all, 14,000 soldiers ended up receiving “improper bonuses.” Some of them were injured and are currently disabled. A smaller number of these men ended up paying the ultimate sacrifice. The government wants them all to repay their bonuses.
Veterans have been forced to refinance or sell their houses in order to give the government its pound of flesh. Others have been sent to the brink of bankruptcy. They are being denied home loans and having to fend off collections agencies, all because the government wants its money back.
These men and women served their country and put themselves in harm’s way. Now that each and every one of them have fulfilled the terms of their contract, the government wants to claw that money back.
It’s just so shameful.
We will never rest while soldiers or veterans are mistreated. Whether active duty or retired, our military men and women are the best of us and they deserve the utmost respect.
In Obama’s America, they tend to receive the opposite.
Quite honestly, I don’t care what the law says the Pentagon can do. These men and women re-enlisted because they accepted the terms of the contract. Those terms included a signing bonus.
Congressmen on both sides of the aisle cannot believe the Pentagon could stoop this low. Representatives Kevin McCarthy (CA) and Darrel Issa (CA) are leading the charge to put an end to this shameless program. But they are also joined by some Democrats.
“These service members – many of whom were sent into combat – are now being forced to make the difficult and painful decisions to pay back thousands of dollars they never knew they owed,” explains Democrat Congressman Mark Takano (CA), “the solution to this ridiculous situation is an act of Congress.“
He is absolutely right and that is why it is so important for us to rally together to demand Congressional action!
These Veterans can’t get their years back. They can’t get their friends back. And I will not stand by as the government tries to take their signing bonuses back!
Veterans are having their lives ripped apart. They answered the call to defend us and now this is the thanks they get.
Please, I beg you, answer the call right now and fight to protect them!