Haven't soldiers paid enough?
CA Army National Guard offered bonuses to soldiers who were willing to sign up for 3-or 6-year enlistments from 2006 to 2010. After the soldiers signed the contracts, deployed to combat zones, and in most cases already completed their contracts, National Guard sent letters to 17,000 soldiers stating they have to pay back the bonuses. They are taking the money back from soldiers paychecks if they are still serving, against their will and without a judgment. If the soldiers are no longer serving in the military they are forcing them to pay back the money, reporting it as debt to all three credit bureaus and taking against their will from their tax returns. The Army National Guard is bypassing the due legal process, so we have been forced to file a class action law suit against them. Court costs are very expensive to appealed all the way to the supreme court. We are not suing for damages, only demanding that they stop their collection action and return the money they have taken from soldiers who honorably completed their contracts.
Many of the soldiers served in combat zones as a result of these contract. Many were wounded and some killed. Some of the spouses of the KIA received letters stating their loved ones who paid the ultimate sacrifice had to pay back bonuses they were promised. Many soldiers have been diagnosed with PTSD and are already struggling with issues. The military forcefully taking money against my will and ruining my financial life has left me feeling betrayed and helpless to stop them. I feel pushed to the edge and the situation has placed thoughts in my head, that I don't want there. How far does this push people struggling worse than I am?
I fell these soldiers have already paid enough. If you feel this is an injustice and you ever wanted to thank a soldier for their service, it would be greatly appreciated if you made a small $5.00 donation. A very small request for a soldier that has sacrificed so much. I really don't want anyone to make a large donation. Just a simple $5.00 donations would surely add up. Thank you for your support.
Should the case be settled before the reaching the supreme court, I hereby pledge that after all court cost and reasonable legal fees are paid, any remaining funds raised will be donated to reputable veteran related charities, to be determined at a later date.
If you haven't already, please take a moment to sign and share my petition. If this gets enough attention, perhaps someone in congress will put a stop to this sooner than later, and that is all we really want. To be paid what we were promised.
SFC Robert Richmond
US Army, Special Forces