Ten years ago, the National Guard needed soldiers. And thousands answered the call. Faced with a personnel shortage during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the National Guard offered significant bonuses for soldiers to re-up. And many did. They received their payments in exchange for putting their lives on the line.
Now the military wants the money back. In an outrageous breach of decency, the Pentagon is claiming that the bonuses were mismanaged by the California National Guard, and many soldiers were overpaid. Now, the Pentagon is threatening wage garnishments, tax liens and even interest payments if soldiers refuse to pay.
“I signed a contract that I literally risked my life to fulfill,” Army Sgt. 1st Class Robert Richmond told the LA Times. “We want somebody in the government, anybody, to say this is wrong and we’ll stop going after this money.”
“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,” said Maj. Gen. Matthew Beevers, deputy commander of the California Guard.