Secretary of Defense Ash Carter
Secretary of Defense Ash Carter announced Wednesday that he was ordering the Pentagon to suspend its efforts to recover decade-old reenlistment bonuses paid to thousands of California Army National Guard soldiers who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan.
About 2,000 soldiers were recently told they had to repay the cash bonuses that, in some cases, amounted to $15,000 or more.
This is what openly shreds into me with regards to our government and their overwhelming lack of sober or common sense leadership.
Carter said there was a process in place to assist soldiers who sought relief from such obligations, and in this case, “hundreds” of Guard members have already sought and have been granted relief.
Otherwise, how and why would Mr. Carter know about these mentioned “relief of such obligations” unless they did not include some penalty such as a fee, interest or any other managerial cost also?
“But that process has simply moved too slowly and in some cases imposed unreasonable burdens on service members,” Carter said. “That is unacceptable.” So why has this been going on? For how long? Oh yeah, someone in a position knew about the paybacks and should be punished.
He did not mention any timeframe for the suspension, but he insisted that it would be in place until he was “satisfied that our process is working effectively.”
I don’t know enough yet but I will — when any company offers individuals something such as a reenlistment bonus and all things come to fruition, why would anyone need a “process” moreover, a suspension?
Faced with a shortage of troops at the height of the two wars, California Guard officials offered bonuses of $15,000 or more for soldiers to reenlist.
A federal investigation in 2010 found thousands of bonuses and student loan payments were improperly doled out to California Guard soldiers. About 9,700 current and retired soldiers received notices to repay some or all of their bonuses with more than $22 million recovered so far.
How many of the 850 criminal illegal immigrants who were granted citizenship by another leadership accident have relinquished their claim to be Americans?
Soldiers said they felt betrayed at having to repay the money.
“These bonuses were used to keep people in,” said Christopher Van Meter, a 42-year-old former Army captain and Iraq veteran who was awarded a Purple Heart. “People like me just got screwed.”
Van Meter said he refinanced his home mortgage to repay $25,000 in reenlistment bonuses and $21,000 in student loan repayments that the military says was improperly given to him.
The California Guard said it had to follow the law and collect the money.
“At the end of the day, the soldiers ended up paying the largest price,” Maj. Gen. Matthew Beevers, deputy commander of the California Guard, told the Los Angeles Times. “We’d be more than happy to absolve these people of their debts. We just can’t do it. We’d be breaking the law.”
So what has President Obama done for the last eight years? And how about the former Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton, who makes ongoing arrangements with the head of the FBI?