SACRAMENTO – Senator Ted Gaines (R-El Dorado) today sent the following letter to Governor Jerry Brown requesting that he take action to support the California National Guard veterans being forced to repay enlistment bonuses:
Dear Governor Brown,
I am writing to ask you to be a champion for more than 10,000 California National Guard veterans who are currently being subjected to an unbelievable injustice.
The Los Angeles Times recently reported that these Guard members have been ordered to repay enlistment bonuses they received as a condition for enlisting or reenlisting in the Guard during the height of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, when the nation was desperate for combat soldiers to carry out its missions.
These soldiers deployed in combat roles and risked their lives in service to freedom and their fellow Americans. Now, due to incompetence and mismanagement in the enlistment bonus program, the Department of Defense is demanding repayment from these soldiers a decade after the fact.
This is unacceptable. The time for certainty in this program was BEFORE these fighting men and women shipped off to war. To demand these bonuses back now is little more than a cruel bait-and-switch for our combat veterans. The calculation in this travesty is entirely backwards – it is the country that owes, and will continue to owe, a debt to these soldiers.
Thank you in advance for working with California’s legislative delegation in Washington to ensure that our veterans are being honored for their service and not suffering from this betrayal at the hands of the Pentagon.
Senator, 1st District