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Veterans Respond to Sec Carter’s Announcement on National Guard Bonus Scandal

NEW YORK, NY (October 26, 2016) — In response to the news that Secretary of Defense Carter is suspending collection of reimbursements aimed at CA National Guard bonuses, IAVA issued the following statement:

“This is a good step from the Pentagon. But it is long overdue and far from enough.” said IAVA CEO and Founder Paul Rieckhoff. “Thousands of lives have been turned upside down and veterans who have served honorably are now in financial ruin through no fault of their own. While it’s good for them to know recouping has been halted, that does not make them financially whole or address their urgent needs. Many will be stuck waiting for clarity and the results of the investigation until next year. The Pentagon needs to do more than just halt the recouping, it needs to pay them back–with interest.

“We appreciate Secretary Carter’s focus and look forward to helping him and the Pentagon continue to work through this urgent issue and the related downstream impacts,” Rieckhoff continued. “We also need certainty from the government now about whether or not this issue impacts service members in states beyond California.”

In the meantime, we continue to call on all Americans to support our call to #PayThemBack by Veterans Day and to support non-profit organizations like IAVA filling the gap. We also encourage the national media to stay focused on this urgent story.

While the government continues to sort through how to correct their egregious mistake, IAVA is standing by to help veterans with our Rapid Response Referral Program team (RRRP). And we encourage all Americans to stay connected and informed via IAVA.org and the #PayThemBack hashtag. This is far from over and will require attention and vigilance.”

Note to media: Email press@iava.org or call 212-982-9699 to speak with IAVA CEO and Founder Paul Rieckhoff or IAVA leadership.

Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (www.IAVA.org) is the leading post-9/11 veteran empowerment organization (VEO) with the most diverse and rapidly growing membership in America. As a non-profit founded in 2004, IAVA’s mission is to connect, unite and empower post-9/11 veterans. Celebrating its 12th year anniversary, IAVA has connected more than 1.2 million veterans with resources and community, and provided more than 7,300 veterans with personalized support from IAVA’s Master’s level social workers.