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BREAKING NEWS: On October 26th, 2016, Defense Secretary Ash Carter ordered for his staff to temporarily halt their seeking of repayment. However, he also ordered that a process be put into place by January 1st, 2017 where debts can still be collected, in a way that isn't as harmful for owing service members. This is still unacceptable. Our service members shouldn't have to pay back a dime. Help end this absurdity by signing below.
Goal: 40,000 Progress: 14,265
Sponsored by: The Veterans Site

From 2006 to 2008, in order to bolster a shortage of fighting troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, the California National Guard offered bonuses of $15,000 or more to soldiers to reenlist.

A decade later, after audits revealed widespread overpayments by the California National Guard, the Department of Defense began forcing thousands of soldiers who accepted those enlistment bonuses to cough the money back up. If these soldiers didn't repay their enlistment bonuses, they were liable to be slapped with interest charges, wage garnishments, and tax liens.

Now, after pushback from citizens across the country, the Department of Defense has altered their stance. Defense Secretary Ash Carter ordered a temporary halt of his staff's seeking of repayment. In its place he has ordered that a process be developed by January 1st, 2017, so that service members will still have to pay back their debt, but that they can do so in ways that are less harmful to their quality of life.

This is absurd. Many of these veterans served their country through multiple combat tours, in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Some were wounded. Some gave the ultimate sacrifice. They shouldn't have to refinance mortgages, medical bills, and student loan payments. They shouldn't have to pay for the mistakes of the U.S. Government.

Sign the petition below demanding Defense Secretary Ash Carter to forgive these debts, and to forever stop demanding payback from veterans and their families.

Sign Here

Dear Defense Secretary Carter,

From 2006 to 2008, the California National Guard financially incentivized reenlistment so that military presence within Iraq and Afghanistan could be strengthened. Thousands of soldiers responded, and used their bonuses as they saw fit. Mortgages. Medical bills. Student loans.

I understand that there are a lot of moving parts within the California National Guard. I understand that there are a lot of moving parts within the Department of Defense. I also understand that you have a responsibility to both the service member and the taxpayer, and that developing a process to semi-please both parties is what you'd consider a win-win scenario.

But this is wrong. These men and women risked everything for you, for me, for this country. They and their families shouldn't be asked to shrug their shoulders at a promise broken by the government they swore to protect.

Tying a bow called "process" on the matter, and continuing to force veterans and their families to repay decades-old enlistment bonuses is more than a mistake — it's a tragedy I'll never be able to forgive.

Defense Secretary Carter, I demand that you do what is morally right, and forgive these enlistment bonus debts, now, and forever.


Petition Signatures

Mar 24, 2017 Jeanette Perkins
Mar 24, 2017 Laura Tomaszewski
Mar 24, 2017 Tammie Hall This is just plain wrong! They do not deserve to be treated like this! Stop this action and pay those who have paid anything back what was collected!!!
Mar 23, 2017 (Name not displayed) This is so freaking wrong!! Do you honestly expect new citizens will even sign up! Once this gets on the social media! People will think first before they accept, believing that the promises offered will be lies!
Mar 22, 2017 Arthur Bullard the service people deserve every little bit they get and more
Mar 21, 2017 Stacey MyCue Disgraceful is an understatement.
Mar 21, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Mar 21, 2017 Betty Jones Freedom is never Free
Mar 20, 2017 Martha Danielson These people did their part, now it's up to the government to keep its word.
Mar 20, 2017 Denise Griffin
Mar 19, 2017 kellyann morander
Mar 19, 2017 Sibrina Russell
Mar 18, 2017 Phyllis Porche-Coleman
Mar 18, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Mar 18, 2017 sandra Corrigan
Mar 18, 2017 Tyler Reid
Mar 17, 2017 Paola DeCastro
Mar 17, 2017 Holly Dixon
Mar 16, 2017 Nancy Hamo This is absolutely ridiculous and should NEVER have happened. Let these men and women keep the bonuses they were offered and received!!
Mar 16, 2017 nathalie guyonvarch
Mar 16, 2017 ibrahim rexhepi
Mar 16, 2017 Monique Lightner Keep your promise!!! They did!!!!!!
Mar 14, 2017 Anne Lurski
Mar 14, 2017 (Name not displayed) Ridiculous! Shameful! Vets need to be taken care of period. They deserve to keep what they got without attachments!
Mar 13, 2017 Jeannine Valentine This is an outrage you must stop this!!!
Mar 13, 2017 Stephen Moyer
Mar 13, 2017 Shirley Petersen
Mar 13, 2017 lance bowling
Mar 13, 2017 Carole Lewis
Mar 13, 2017 lorene wartick
Mar 13, 2017 Sharon Malcolm
Mar 13, 2017 Betty Berry
Mar 13, 2017 peter hopper it is time to finally take care of our war vets. congress already took enough away
Mar 12, 2017 Vickie Herdman
Mar 12, 2017 Kristi Weber
Mar 11, 2017 Dr. Jerry Montgomery A greedy betrayal of soldiers' honor and commitment to serve our country. The T administration should be overwhelmed with SHAME!
Mar 11, 2017 Anita K Wilson It was not the soldiers fault, they answered the call & did their duty. Do not take back the money. find another way to cover the cost. Like not paying $100.00 for a hammer.
Mar 11, 2017 dale digby thay earned it
Mar 10, 2017 Sandra Vaughn
Mar 10, 2017 Debbie Luchka
Mar 9, 2017 Deborah Lombardi
Mar 9, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Mar 8, 2017 Rita Leone
Mar 8, 2017 Brenda D
Mar 8, 2017 Patti Bramlett This is wrong in so many ways!
Mar 8, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Mar 8, 2017 rhonda lawford
Mar 8, 2017 Donald DeWindt You should be ashamed of yourself it is not the troops faulf that your people messed up on the paperwork
Mar 7, 2017 Cynthia Kang This is disgraceful. I am a California Army National Guard/ Army vet. I wanted to serve in the middle East for my country, but due to health issues I could not.
Mar 7, 2017 Karen Deckel

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