This is a story that has people wondering how on earth something like this could be possible. According a newspaper report this past weekend, 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.
What seems to be a mistake made by the Pentagon, has left California Guard soldiers having to pay for it. How much money are we talking about? Well, the California Guard officials offered bonuses of $15,000 or more for soldiers to reenlist.
Audits revealed overpayments by the California Guard, when the Pentagon was under pressure to fill ranks and hit its enlistment goals during the height of the two wars.
A Los Angeles Times article has said that if the soldiers refuse to pay the money back, they could be hit not only with interest charges, but tax lens, and even wage garnishments.
How many soldiers are affected by this? 9,700 current and retired soldiers have received notices to repay some or all of their bonuses with more than $22 million recovered so far.
The California Guard’s response is that it must follow the law and collect the money but officials said they are helping soldiers and veterans file appeals with agencies that can erase the debts.
It wasn’t just in California that these overpayments were made. According to the Pentagon agency that oversees state Guard groups, bonus overpayments occurred in every state.