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VICTORY! As of January 3, the Pentagon decided not to force the repayments for the vast majority of cases for more than 15,000 California National Guard soldiers and veterans who received enlistment bonuses over the last decade.
Final signature count: 14,553
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.

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

Sep 17, 2017 Richard Han
Sep 15, 2017 Mary Barker
Sep 14, 2017 Lauri Moon
Sep 11, 2017 June Curley
Sep 3, 2017 Pat Brown
Aug 18, 2017 Mary Ware
Aug 18, 2017 Yolanda Aguilar
Aug 18, 2017 David Pascoe
Aug 18, 2017 sophia rubinstein
Aug 16, 2017 Terry Lowe President Trump, please way in on this and make this commitment a sealed deal. After all a deal is a deal. NO backing out!
Aug 7, 2017 Dawn Shock
Aug 7, 2017 Venice Rembold
Aug 7, 2017 danielle jacques
Aug 7, 2017 Michelle Howland
Aug 6, 2017 Patricia Lewis
Aug 6, 2017 Kim Hanke
Aug 6, 2017 christine etapa
Aug 6, 2017 Vanessa Montoya
Aug 3, 2017 Corinne Kissell
Aug 3, 2017 Ivan Zhyvolup
Aug 1, 2017 Kathy & Judy Sutter
Jul 31, 2017 Jack Martin
Jul 31, 2017 Fern Swecker
Jul 30, 2017 Jo-Ann Sangataldo
Jul 30, 2017 Sharon gooding
Jul 27, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Jul 25, 2017 Lori Visioli
Jul 23, 2017 Denise Griffin
Jul 20, 2017 Donald Windus
Jul 19, 2017 Rachel Howe
Jul 18, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Jul 16, 2017 Yvonne Sierra This is Bullshit..they should have not to pay back..
Jul 15, 2017 Robin Persons An absolute travesty. An insult to our veterans and I am one of them.
Jul 14, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Jul 14, 2017 Pam Hoadley
Jul 12, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Jul 12, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Jul 12, 2017 Lenda Earl
Jul 10, 2017 Janet Magdaleno
Jul 10, 2017 cheryl rosenthal they should be ashamed of themselves vets paid with their lives. gave on everything to serve their countries and come back and nothing.
Jul 9, 2017 Richard Denton You have got to be kidding, this is outrageous! We voluntarily risk our lives for our country and this is how they repay us? Somebody better do something fast or you will surely have lawsuits coming out your ears and other places!!
Jul 9, 2017 Maria Jesus Escobedo Barrera
Jul 9, 2017 Rose Campanello
Jul 9, 2017 George Anderson
Jul 8, 2017 (Name not displayed) It is a criminal act to force these soldiers to repay the incentive money. The government should be ashamed of this.
Jul 7, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Jul 5, 2017 Gemma Eggleton
Jul 5, 2017 Lynn Ronconi
Jul 5, 2017 Rosemary Deorio I am a veterian

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