LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Thousands of men and women, who served in the California National Guard, made a plea on Veterans Day to President Obama and President-Elect Trump to do more to help soldiers who were forced to pay back enlistment bonuses.
“We would love a one-on-one, face-to-face with President Trump or President Obama,” California National Guard soldier Sgt. Bryan Strother said.
He called for a president’s executive order to end the California National Guard’s bonus controversy once and for all.
Thousands of soldiers like him were forced to pay back large incentive bonuses given to them improperly a decade ago.
After public outcry last month, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter suspended those efforts to recoup money.
He said a new plan will start in January and all cases will be reviewed by July.
But Strother isn’t satisfied. He and his attorney filed this response as part of their class action lawsuit, saying in part:
“Plaintiff’s appeal process took four (4) Years and is average at best. To Review all cases within six (6) Months (January to July) Would equate to the appeal process working at least eight (8) times faster, which is unrealistic.”
“They haven’t done anything but kick the can down the road to the next administration, Strother said.
He said that next administration comes with uncertainty and unknown defense leaders. So on behalf of veterans on Veterans Day, this soldier asked for more action.
“If they want to show appreciation for veterans, keep those contractual promises,” Strothers added.
He said the Defense Department’s plan also doesn’t address the promise of student loan forgiveness and what to do about veterans’ credit scores that have been impacted.