I read an article today that said that in 2006, when the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were going full swing, apparently the California National Guard came up with an idea to attract individuals to enlist. They would offer a $20,000 bonus to get people to sign up. It worked, of course. Only now, some ten years later, it’s been decided this was illegal to begin with and the government wants its’ money back. So, they are demanding veterans who received the bonus repay it.
Now those veterans who received the bonus are struggling to pay it back; in some cases the payments are hundreds of dollars per month. In response to public outrage, the Pentagon has declared they are suspending the debt collection program. The only problem is, no one seems to know what that means or if they will not look for other ways of reclaiming the funds.
At this point, anything being said by the government is vague at best. While I understand that the government is caught between its’ obligations to veterans versus those of taxpayers, it is not the fault of the vets that this decision was made in the first place.
I am hoping that the government will come up with a solution that recognizes our veterans are not responsible for repayment of these funds. I guess at this point, we all need to monitor the progress of the situation and watch to see that our veterans aren’t forced to repay the bonus at the expense of their current standard of living.