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Forcing Vets to Repay a Bonus is Morally Criminal #StoptheJollyGreenGiant

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Somewhere in the mid 2000’s, I found myself attending Grad School utilizing the post 9-11 GI benefits my deployment to Iraq had earned me.  All seemed well until one month the VA overpaid me.  I called to clarify and they told me that they would simply withhold the over payment from one of my future payments and all would be made right.  That was until months letter I got a letter and call indicating I had been sent to Federal Collections.  Now, I am not sure where Federal Collections is located but I’m pretty sure its somewhere near Mos Eisley.  Because never before had I encountered a more wretched hive of scum and villainy.  Most members of the military are familiar with the big green weenie, but when the government wants its money they subcontract said weenie from the Jolly Green Giant.  Fast forward to today and some 10,000 National Guardsmen are being forced to endure the same jolly green weenie as they are being coerced into pay back tens of thousands of dollars in enlistment bonuses paid out over 10 years ago.  My friends, this is Government at its worst. This is tyranny and nothing short of morally criminal.

It’s a Lot of Money

The story goes that at the height of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, you know the same ones we are still fighting now, the military was in need of warriors with special skills.  As a result, enlistment bonuses and student loan benefits were offered as thousands of members of the California National Guard participated.  In good faith, they signed the contract and endured subsequent multiple deployments to combat simply to provide themselves and their families a little financial breathing room in a tight economy.  However, this poorly managed program was open to corruption by a few and as a result 10,000 plus innocent men now find their lives ruined.  But let me say it another way.

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For the mere amount of money that Paris Hilton likely spends on one shoe, these men and women risked death by IED, RPG, and any other deadly three letter combination you can come up with.  To them, this was a lot of life changing money.  They risked orphaning their children in service to their country in the hopes that such risk would provide a better life for their children.  They risked returning home with scars both mental and physical because they believed they had signed a contract in good faith with their own government, and in fact, they did sign a legally binding contract with the government.  Then a decade later the Jolly Green Giant comes knocking at their door and that green bean loving S.O.B ain’t wearing no pants.

The Years They Never Get Back

The government paid for a service in these men and then after the blood, sweat, and tears were spilt they want it back?  Service was rendered my friends and no one in the business world operates this way.  In fact, try visiting a lady of the night and then telling her pimp there was accounting error and I’ll need that money back after the deed has been done.  If you can get a refund from T-Bone on the corner then I’ll be happy to concede these warriors should pay the government back.

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You can’t just Quantum Leap back in time to put right what once went wrong.  Who gives these men years of their lives back?  Who tells the Veteran struggling with TBI or PTSD, “Just Kidding”, on the very bonus that incentivized them to sign up for the very years they would endure the injury which changed their life forever.  To experience War is a hell of a thing and whether that experience is good or bad, you can’t just unsee war.  You can’t undo the experience of war any more than T-Bone can get peaches to undo the herpes she just gave you.  It’s a done deal my friends and to ask for a refund is simply criminal thuggery from our own government and morally criminal to the citizens who least deserve it.

Never Forget

Sure, it might not be “technically” illegal for the government to do so, but that doesn’t make it any less morally criminal.  A $15,000 surprise debt backed by the force of Government today would devastate my family and I think it no less for these men.  Who could recover from such debt and who can escape it when the Jolly Green Weenie comes swinging your direction?  Currently men are mortgaging their houses and such because simply can’t fight the big green weenie any longer.  But here is where we can help.  There is publicity about this today and politicians are giving their standard lip service as one would expect.  But in a few weeks, all will be forgotten as the election, WW3, and whatever else we have coming takes over. Do not leave these men and women behind.  Do not forget and make your representatives go on record with this one simple question, “Will you support legislation to free these innocent Veterans of their unjust debt?”

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There is an election in November and everyone one of us should plaster our representatives via social media and email will questions about this matter.  Simply put, “Will you support legislation to free these innocent veterans of their unjust debt.”  In fact, to bring attention I suggest you use the hashtag, #StoptheJollyGreenGiant.  Don’t be a troll, but let them know your voice and more importantly your vote will matter this November.  Worst case scenario the public at large will be curious why the Jolly Green Giant is trending and they might jump in too.

It’s a yes or no question my friends and if they can’t come to the correct moral conclusion in short order then they clearly lack the moral consciousness to make such decisions.  They can say their hands are tied if they want, but nothing stops them from passing a law.  I know because I’ve seen school house rock.  As for us Veterans it’s about all we can do against such a mighty weenie, but I feel we have an obligation to try.  I’ll say again, “Will you support legislation to free these innocent Veterans of their unjust debt.”  You can find your Rep and Senators here.  Go forward my friends and #StoptheJollyGreenGiant

Also, Like the Unprecedented Mediocrity Facebook Page Below or Jolly Green Weenie Will Come for You Too!

Jeff Edwards

3 Comments

  1. Greetings from across the pond.

    Although this was written a long time ago by Rudyard Kipling about the 19th century British soldiers, it’s as true today as it was back then, to US as well as UK troops.

    Tommy

    I WENT into a public ‘ouse to get a pint o’ beer,
    The publican ‘e up an’ sez, ” We serve no red-coats here.”
    The girls be’ind the bar they laughed an’ giggled fit to die,
    I outs into the street again an’ to myself sez I:
    O it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ ” Tommy, go away ” ;
    But it’s ” Thank you, Mister Atkins,” when the band begins to play
    The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,
    O it’s ” Thank you, Mister Atkins,” when the band begins to play.

    I went into a theatre as sober as could be,
    They gave a drunk civilian room, but ‘adn’t none for me;
    They sent me to the gallery or round the music-‘alls,
    But when it comes to fightin’, Lord! they’ll shove me in the stalls!
    For it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ ” Tommy, wait outside “;
    But it’s ” Special train for Atkins ” when the trooper’s on the tide
    The troopship’s on the tide, my boys, the troopship’s on the tide,
    O it’s ” Special train for Atkins ” when the trooper’s on the tide.

    Yes, makin’ mock o’ uniforms that guard you while you sleep
    Is cheaper than them uniforms, an’ they’re starvation cheap.
    An’ hustlin’ drunken soldiers when they’re goin’ large a bit
    Is five times better business than paradin’ in full kit.
    Then it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an` Tommy, ‘ow’s yer soul? ”
    But it’s ” Thin red line of ‘eroes ” when the drums begin to roll
    The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
    O it’s ” Thin red line of ‘eroes, ” when the drums begin to roll.

    We aren’t no thin red ‘eroes, nor we aren’t no blackguards too,
    But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;
    An’ if sometimes our conduck isn’t all your fancy paints,
    Why, single men in barricks don’t grow into plaster saints;
    While it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an` Tommy, fall be’ind,”
    But it’s ” Please to walk in front, sir,” when there’s trouble in the wind
    There’s trouble in the wind, my boys, there’s trouble in the wind,
    O it’s ” Please to walk in front, sir,” when there’s trouble in the wind.

    You talk o’ better food for us, an’ schools, an’ fires, an’ all:
    We’ll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.
    Don’t mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face
    The Widow’s Uniform is not the soldier-man’s disgrace.
    For it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an` Chuck him out, the brute! ”
    But it’s ” Saviour of ‘is country ” when the guns begin to shoot;
    An’ it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ anything you please;
    An ‘Tommy ain’t a bloomin’ fool – you bet that Tommy sees!

  2. This story really gets under my skin. It is proof that the green weenie thinks it can do what it wants, when it wants, to whomever it wants. I did a little research (very little, I Googled it) and the statute of limitations on contract in California if four years. “Section 337 of California’s Code of Civil Procedure establishes a four-year statute of limitations for most written contracts. It requires a plaintiff to file a lawsuit within four years of the alleged breach, or similar event, of a written contract.” I do not pretend to know much about the law, and very well could be completely off base, but this tells me something should have been done years ago or nothing should be done. Let it go, take the loss, your the government you can afford it. Besides the amount of money we’re talking about is equal to a couple of toilet seats or hammers.

  3. While I believe that the Federal congress will amazingly cooperate and resolve this for the troops on the ground, the real collection efforts should be directed at the upper levels of the California National Guard who authorized the bonuses. If the State of California wants to bail out their NG officers fine, if not well then those in command need to stand behind their word and accept the responsibility and find the money. As you pointed out the troops will not get the time back and I am confident that not all went through their re-up undamaged.

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