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CA National Guard veteran: Recoupment notice was 'disturbing'




National Guardsmen stand in formation along the U.S.-Mexico border on August 18, 2010 in San Ysidro, California.
National Guardsmen stand in formation along the U.S.-Mexico border on August 18, 2010 in San Ysidro, California.
Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images

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An LA Times story revealed that thousands of men and women who had been paid bonuses to re-enlist were being asked to give the money back.  Secretary of Defense Ash Carter ordered the Pentagon to suspend efforts to claw back these funds. Carter also called for an expedited review and hopes to resolve all outstanding claims by July 1. 

Bryan Strother, who served in the California National Guard for almost 20 years, told Alex Cohen he was paid a bonus after re-enlisting in March 2007. He said he received $15,000 with a contractual promise for student loan repayment—at the time he had more than $12,000 in student loans from his law school tuition.

But in 2012, he said he received a recoupment notice and last year, they actually began recouping the money.

"It was disturbing. I only found out when they stopped paying the student loan repayments," Strother said.

Strother said he has since received relief from the recoupment.

"This is affecting people's families. If I have PTSD from anything, it's from this hanging over my head now for ten years," Strother said.

 

Take Two's Alex Cohen spoke with Strother about his experience.

Click the blue audio player to hear the full interview.