Thousands of soldiers forced to repay enlistment bonuses a decade after going to war

crew-2231211If you don’t already love Obama and his anti-war minions, just remember a Hillary as POTUS will be far worse.

 

The woman literally hates our men and women in uniform and would not allow them to look at her or wear their uniforms in her presence.

80b5abe1fe65baa261059bf52b5bc9efTake it to the bank and bet on it, Hilda is not listening to the soldier who believed he had her ear.

She would view him like little people, the way she looks at all of us.

It’s time for the bitch to have the boom land right square on her head.

Perhaps that will knock some sense into her.

“How Hillary became a Hawk.“(Source)

 

 

David S. Cloud
October 22, 2016

Short of troops to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan a decade ago, the California National Guard enticed thousands of soldiers with bonuses of $15,000 or more to reenlist and go to war.

Now the Pentagon is demanding the money back.

 

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Instead of forgiving the improper bonuses, the California Guard assigned 42 auditors to comb through paperwork for bonuses and other incentive payments given to 14,000 soldiers, a process that was finally completed last month.

Roughly 9,700 current and retired soldiers have been told by the California Guard to repay some or all of their bonuses and the recoupment effort has recovered more than $22 million so far.

Because of protests, appeals and refusal by some to comply, the recovery effort is likely to continue for years.

In interviews, current and former California Guard members described being ordered to attend mass meetings in 2006 and 2007 in California where officials signed up soldiers in assembly-line fashion after outlining the generous terms available for six-year re-enlistment.

Robert Richmond, an Army sergeant first class then living in Huntington Beach, said he re-enlisted after being told he qualified for a $15,000 bonus as a special forces soldier.

The money gave him “breathing room,” said Richmond, who had gone through a divorce after a deployment to Afghanistan in 2002 and 2003.

In 2007, his special forces company was sent to the Iraqi town of Hillah, 60 miles south of Baghdad in an area known as the “Triangle of Death” because of the intense fighting.

Richmond conducted hundreds of missions against insurgents over the next year. In one, a roadside bomb exploded by his vehicle, knocking him out and leaving him with permanent back and brain injuries.

He was stunned to receive a letter from California Guard headquarters in 2014 telling him to repay the $15,000 and warning he faced “debt collection action” if he failed to comply.

Richmond should not have received the money, they argued, because he already had served 20 years in the Army in 2006, making him ineligible.

Richmond, 48, has refused to repay the bonus. He says he only had served 15 years when he reenlisted, due to several breaks in his Army service.

He has filed appeal after appeal, even after receiving a collection letter from the Treasury Department in March warning that his “unpaid delinquent debt” had risen to $19,694.62 including interest and penalties.

After quitting the California Guard so the money wouldn’t be taken from his paycheck, he moved to Nebraska to work as a railroad conductor, but was laid off.

He then moved to Texas to work for a construction company, leaving his wife and children in Nebraska. With $15,000 debt on his credit report, he has been unable to qualify for a home loan.

“I signed a contract that I literally risked my life to fulfill,” Richmond said bitterly. “We want somebody in the government, anybody, to say this is wrong and we’ll stop going after this money.”

Though they cannot waive the debts, California Guard officials say they are helping soldiers and veterans file appeals with the National Guard Bureau and the Army Board for Correction of Military Records, which can wipe out the debts.

But soldiers say it is a long, frustrating process, with no guarantee of success.

Robert D’Andrea, a retired Army major and Iraq veteran, was told to return a $20,000 bonus he received in 2008 because auditors could not find a copy of the contract he says he signed.

Now D’Andrea, a financial crimes investigator with the Santa Monica Police Department, says he is close to exhausting all his appeals.

“Everything takes months of work, and there is no way to get your day in court,” he said. “Some benefit of the doubt has to be given to the soldier.”

Bryan Strother, a sergeant first class from Oroville north of Sacramento, spent four years fighting Guard claims that he owed $25,010.32 for mistaken bonuses and student loans.

Guard officials told Strother he had voided his enlistment contract by failing to remain a radio operator, his assigned job, during and after a 2007-08 deployment to Iraq.

Strother filed a class-action lawsuit in February in federal district court in Sacramento on behalf of all soldiers who got bonuses, claiming the California Guard “conned” them into re-enlisting.

The suit asked the court to order the recovered money to be returned to the soldiers and to issue an injunction against the government barring further collection.

In August, Strother received a letter from the Pentagon waiving repayment of his bonus.

“We believe he acted in good faith in accepting the $15,000,” a claims adjudicator from the Pentagon’s Defense Legal Services Agency wrote in the letter. He still owed $5,000 in student loan repayments, it said.

Within weeks, lawyers for U.S. Atty. Phillip A. Talbert in Sacramento petitioned the court to dismiss Strother’s lawsuit, arguing that it was moot since most of his debt had been waived. A federal judge is supposed to rule on the government’s motion by January.

“It’s a legal foot-dragging process to wear people out and make people go away,” said Strother. “It’s overwhelming for most soldiers.”

Indeed, some have just given up, repaying the money even before exhausting their appeals.

“It was tearing me up, the stress, the headaches,” said Van Meter, the former Army captain from Manteca who paid off his $46,000 debt by refinancing his mortgage. “I couldn’t take it anymore. The amount of stress it put us through financially and emotionally was something we wanted to move past.”

 

 

THE END

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13 thoughts on “Thousands of soldiers forced to repay enlistment bonuses a decade after going to war

  1. This is EVIL and OBSCENE!!! Oh! Thank God…I didn’t wait long enough to hear it all.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I was reading this last night, and not only are they demanding it back, they are suing and seizing peoples assets, bank accounts and so on. Shocking and horrifying how this is allowed to happen.

    Like

  3. Reblogged this on Bob's Opinion and commented:
    CAUTION ! This story may be a bit rough for Sunday Morning… It really makes this old man — mad as a hornet …

    Like

  4. It is as upaces88 said … pure evil, but really not shocking coming out of the Obama Whitehouse, and Pelosi’s California. (too many good people in California to blame them) … but Brown and Pelosi are really too snakes in the grass, and slimy evil… just that Obama’s DoD leadership just can’t wait to stick it to the troops.

    Like

    • Thanks for your comments. They aren’t like snakes in the grass, they are snakes in the grass of the most poisonous species.

      Like

  5. Grrrrrrrr! Makes me want to throw something. Enough with the mistreatment of the men and women who serve and their families. How can these politicians live with themselves?

    Like

  6. By the way, saw the video of you with the shark. Totally admire you, JC.

    Like

  7. Pingback: Government wants MONEY BACK from VETERANS! | IowaDawg Musings & More

  8. Pingback: Thousands of soldiers forced to repay enlistment bonuses a decade after going to war | zooforyou

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