Asking vets to return bonuses is outrageous
Can you believe the Pentagon is telling as many as 10,000 California National Guard members that they have to give back signing bonuses they got 10 years ago for re-enlisting during a war? No way. When Congress returns, it needs to drop the bickering du j
An audit turned up some $22 million given out erroneously as incentives during the recruiting frenzy a decade ago when it was clear the Iraq war wasn’t ending. The money was supposed to be used to retainNational Guard members in certain specialties, but it was offered more widely, and the paperwork was doctored. A recruiter has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for this.
Tax dollars paid improperly should be recovered in most cases. But these people based life and death decisions on this money, often around $15,000. It was a college fund for a child, or the last stretch of savings needed to buy a home. Hard to turn down, even at the risk of getting blown up in the desert.
The Pentagon can’t refund the time soldiers spent in Iraq or Afghanistan because of that bonus. Some came home physically or emotionally scarred; some never came home. They held up their part of the bargain.
California Sens. Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein are fighting for the vets. In the House, Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and Republican Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy are of like mind. Let’s do this. — San Jose Mercury News,
Digital First Media
Commentary >> Charles Krauthammer
Robert D’Andrea, a retired Army major and Iraq war veteran, holds a frame with a photo of his team on his first deployment to Iraq in his home in Los Angeles. Nearly 10,000 California National Guard soldiers have been ordered to repay huge enlistment bonuses a decade after signing up to serve in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Los Angeles Times reported Saturday.