(NBC News) — Defense Secretary Ash Carter has told the Pentagon to stop trying to recover questionable bonuses paid to National Guard members who accepted the money for reenlisting and fighting in Iraq or Afghanistan.
Carter’s decision follows a Los Angeles Times story over the weekend that revealed nearly 10,000 California Guard members have been ordered by the Pentagon to re-pay bonuses they received during what turned out to be a recruiting scandal.
Former guard member Robert D’Andera was among those who received a bonus of $15,000 or more to re-enlist for more combat.
“We volunteered, we signed on the line, we did our duty and now they’re slapping us in the face for it,” he says.
An investigation in 2011 determined those bonuses were in error or illegal and several California Guard recruiters pleaded guilty to fraud.
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