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Pentagon Suspends Bonus Collection Efforts

VFW supports decision but calls it not deep enough

WASHINGTON — Secretary of Defense Ash Carter today ordered the Defense Finance and Accounting Services to “suspend all efforts to collect reimbursements from affected California National Guard members, effective as soon as practical.”

“I welcome the secretary's decision, but it doesn't go deep enough,” said Brian Duffy, national commander of the near 1.7 million-member Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States and its Auxiliary.

“A comprehensive program needs to be immediately created to help make these Guard members whole again,” he said. “They signed and fulfilled a contract, and whether they were authorized to receive a bonus is the fault of a system, not of any recipient. Aside from stopping collection, the government should also restore those monies already collected — and perhaps with the same callous interest payments that were being forced on many Guard members — as well as help to restore damaged credit ratings. Anything less is unacceptable.”