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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: 14,055
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

Feb 26, 2017 Cristina da Cruz
Feb 26, 2017 Patty Armstrong
Feb 26, 2017 Karen Morin
Feb 26, 2017 J M This is completely disgusting. No wonder nobody wants to Serve in the Military anymore. They're being screwed right over. Your word and promises doesn't mean much to these Veterans or anyone else for that matter!!
Feb 25, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Feb 25, 2017 Donna Kress Of all the people to give something to and then try and take it back. You have failed them in too many ways already. DISPICABLE. Cut your own salaries if you are in desperate need of money at the Pentagon.
Feb 25, 2017 (Name not displayed) Outrageous betrayal of trust!
Feb 25, 2017 Kelsey Brewer
Feb 25, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Feb 25, 2017 Patti Disch The DoD and California National Guard seem to have made this mess, and they need to find a way to fix it that will NOT take money from the brave men and women who went to war to protect them!
Feb 25, 2017 (Name not displayed) Do not make veterans pay back bonuses in Jesus name amen
Feb 25, 2017 Kim Randolph
Feb 24, 2017 Jennifer Williams As an American this makes me sick to my stomach. As a Veteran I have no words to offer!
Feb 24, 2017 Alida Tompkins It's time President Trump takes away the fancy packages the old politicians have made for themselves and their spouses and pay their money back to the military, social security and the American people! I'm confident Pres Trump will fix these issues soon
Feb 23, 2017 Loretta Nelson
Feb 23, 2017 Christine Long How dare you try to exact payment from these soldiers , who you enticed in the first place with that money. You leave veterans homeless, below the poverty level and uncared-for in VA hospitals that are poorly run and understaffed. Now this? Shame on you.
Feb 23, 2017 (Name not displayed) It is inconceivable that this is happening to our veterans any politician who supports those efforts will not receive my vote
Feb 21, 2017 karen themelis
Feb 21, 2017 Sandy Bresnahan
Feb 21, 2017 Susan Martin
Feb 21, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Feb 20, 2017 karen McFadden
Feb 20, 2017 Dee Ann Neely
Feb 20, 2017 Charles Muehlhof
Feb 20, 2017 Maryann Ecans
Feb 19, 2017 Cathy Ziegler
Feb 19, 2017 Leah Catalano
Feb 19, 2017 Larry Branson
Feb 19, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Feb 19, 2017 Sharon Gillespie
Feb 19, 2017 Tracy Davis
Feb 19, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Feb 17, 2017 Diedra Aitkin
Feb 16, 2017 M Kent
Feb 16, 2017 Debbie Briney This is the craziest thing I have ever heard. Leave Vets alone, they put their lives out there for our country & this is the thanks they get? If you really need that money, take it from this congress men/women. God knows that they DO NOT deserve they pay
Feb 15, 2017 Mary Anne Webb
Feb 15, 2017 Leslie Williams
Feb 14, 2017 Angela Arnold
Feb 14, 2017 Debbie Varnado WRONG
Feb 14, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Feb 13, 2017 Judith Vincent
Feb 13, 2017 jackie grey
Feb 13, 2017 Janice Banks
Feb 12, 2017 Susan Bonta I would think before you worry about war veterans paying the government back - that you would at least help them find housing here - so they are not sprawled out all over our streets, and in front of our businesses - our children have to see that.
Feb 12, 2017 sharon belson
Feb 11, 2017 Leah Cox
Feb 9, 2017 Jonathan Kerr
Feb 9, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Feb 8, 2017 Karen Procter
Feb 8, 2017 Marjorie Handschke This is not even qualifying anywhere near to being fair to our vets! If we made a mistake, we would have to "eat it"....It shouldn't be any different when the government makes a mistake!

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