In response to the Pentagon’s efforts to have members of the California National Guard pay back enlistment bonuses, Senator Jeff Stone (R-La Quinta) issued the following statement:
“Our men and women who serve in our armed services are heroes, and that’s why I believe the effort by the Pentagon to recoup enlistment bonuses paid to thousands of members of the California National Guard is a national disgrace. Efforts should begin immediately to stop the collection process and to refund any money these soldiers and their families have paid as part of this appalling action.
Thousands of California men and women put their lives on hold and answered their nation’s call in time of great need. The bonuses paid to these heroes were a small payment for the enormous sacrifice these men and women were asked to make.
Many of the nearly 10,000 California Guard soldiers who received these bonuses, offered to them by recruiters, served multiple tours of duty in Afghanistan and Iraq.
To call on them now, 10 years after these payments were made, to pay back the bonuses they were given is disgraceful.
Our Congressional leaders need to launch a full investigation of this matter, and the Pentagon should immediately suspend the effort to collect this bonus money from these brave men and women who have stood on the front lines defending our freedom.”