The problem is that California increased the size of bonuses. Now the feds want it back. All of it, not just the increases. The decision to increase bonuses was made at the state level. If anyone should repay it should be the state of California.
“Report: California soldiers must repay enlistment bonuses”
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.
The Pentagon demanded the money back after audits revealed overpayments by the California Guard under pressure to fill ranks and hit enlistment goals. If soldiers refuse, they could face interest charges, wage garnishments and tax liens, the Los Angeles Times (http://lat.ms/2ew9yQK ) said.
Soldiers said they feel betrayed at having to repay the money.
“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.”
Van Meter said he refinanced his home mortgage to repay $25,000 in reenlistment bonuses and $21,000 in student loan repayments that the military says was improperly given to him.”