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Defense Secretary Orders Halt on National Guard Paybacks

Credit attribution:
stock_photo_world / Shutterstock.com

Yesterday I reported that the Pentagon was forcing California National Guard Members to pay back bonus money paid to them for reenlisting. These bonuses were started because of the low enlistment numbers and the need for troops to maintain the two wars being fought against terror.  These soldiers were told that the bonuses they received was too high.  They were told that they would be paying them back.

The tactics used by the Pentagon were closely akin to those used against tax evaders and deadbeat dads. In fact, many women wished that deadbeat dads were dealt with as swiftly and efficiently.

Many of these soldiers were forced to pay back these bonuses, reaching in the tens of thousands, immediately or face garnished wages. This would seem to be a slap in the face of these service people who answered the call to fight for our freedom.

But, now there might be some help coming.

The Washington Times reports

Defense Secretary Ash Carter has ordered the Pentagon to stop seeking repayments of enlistment bonuses given to California National Guard members who served overseas.

His decision comes in the wake of angry reaction from members of Congress who demanded he relieve the burden on the Guard members. And the White House said President Barack Obama has warned the
Defense Department not to “nickel and dime” service members who were victims of fraud by overzealous recruiters.

In a statement issued during a meeting of defense ministers in Brussels, Carter said effort to collect reimbursement should stop “as soon as is practical” and will continue until a process to help the troops deal with the problem is worked out.

This is good news to many. But there still is the problem with the hundreds who have already paid back their bonuses. What about those who were forced to put their houses up to raise the money?

We can only hope that they too will be protected.

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