Statement by Chair of the Assembly Committee on Veterans Affairs

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

I am outraged that Soldiers and their families who innocently relied on enlistment promises the Guard made to them have been told to repay that money. Later today I will sign a joint letter from both the Assembly and the Senate Veterans Affairs Committees urging Congress to act on this matter. However, I am greatly concerned that relief, even once Congress acts, will come too late for Soldiers who have already complied with orders to repay.  I have asked the Guard for an accounting of how many such soldiers are affected.  I want to make sure that those innocent soldiers who complied quickly are also taken into account in any solution. It is important to note,  the California National Guard established the Soldier Incentive and Assistance Center (SIAC) to advocate for affected soldiers and support their appeals. Through this process, the California National Guard has helped about 4,500 soldiers retain approximately $40 million in bonus money. We will update you as we work to resolve this important issue.

California Veteran’s Committees Letter to Congress
Regarding National Guard Bonuses