Arlington, VA – In light of investigations exposing fraud and mismanagement at the California National Guard, roughly 10,000 soldiers in California are being ordered to repay enlistment bonuses given to them by the Pentagon over a decade ago. If the veterans are unable to pay back the money, the Pentagon plans to use interest charges, wage garnishments, and tax liens to recoup it.
The enlistment bonuses were the result of a fraudulent tactic used by the California National Guard as they scrambled to meet their enlistment goals. Many of the veterans being asked to pay back bonuses served multiple combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Concerned Veterans for America (CVA) Executive Director and Iowa National Guard veteran Mark Lucas issued the following statement:
“This ‘grab money back from our veterans’ scandal sheds a lot of light on how backwards our government’s priorities really are. No action has been taken to recoup the $140 million in bonuses paid to incompetent and even criminal VA bureaucrats, but our government is clawing back money given to combat soldiers who sacrificed their lives for this country. CVA urges members of Congress to waive these absurd bonus repayments. We stand by our fellow service members, and we will help them in this time of need.”
CVA is urging members of Congress to act immediately to waive the bonus requirement for the veterans affected by this scandal.
CVA opposes the Veterans First Act, which would remove limits for VA employee bonuses and similarly puts bureaucrats’ interests ahead of veterans’ needs.