At the height of the war in Iraq, the military offered large bonuses for experienced troops who chose to stay in despite the grueling deployment tempo, the risk to life and limb, and the effects on their families.
But Uncle Sam always reserves the right to change the terms of the deal whenever he wants:
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, a newspaper reported Saturday…
A federal investigation in 2010 found thousands of bonuses and student loan payments were improperly doled out to California Guard soldiers. About 9,700 current and retired soldiers received notices to repay some or all of their bonuses with more than $22 million recovered so far.
Soldiers said they feel betrayed at having to repay the money. ((Editor’s note: THEY WERE!))
“These bonuses were used to keep people in,” said Christopher Van Meter, a 42-year-old former Army captain and Iraq veteran who was awarded a Purple Heart. “People like me just got screwed.”
The government breaks its promises to We the People on a regular basis. But this is an unusually egregious case. To entice a veteran to stay in uniform during increasingly unpopular (and poorly managed) wars, have some of them wounded, crippled or killed, then wait a decade and say “now you have to pay it all back” is COMPLETELY UNACCEPTABLE.
Why isn’t the government of California on the hook for “overpaying” its National Guard? Why should these soldiers suffer because someone made a promise that was not theirs to make? Which bureaucrats will lose their jobs over fraudulently recruiting? (I know… I’m not holding my breath.) Why is it there’s always money and favors to give to illegal immigrants or foreign terror regimes, but never any to take care of Americans?
There have been too many broken promises, too much corruption, too many of our politicians on the take, and nothing for the average, law-abiding citizen of this nation. Our self-appointed elites are so stupid that now they’re bashing thousands of combat veterans who may be wondering which way to point the rifle next time. That’s just one of dozens of reasons why I’m convinced the United States is a dead country walking, and will soon collapse with a heartrending crash. Why would anyone defend it, when this is the thanks those defenders get for putting their lives on the line?
For what little good it may do, there is an online petition to the White House asking to forgive these ‘debts’ that should never have been levied. You can add your name here.