October 25, 2016 - The following statement can be attributed to Symone D. Sanders, Senior Communications Strategist for Democratic Candidate for U.S. Senate Jim Barksdale:
When the American military desperately needed soldiers to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2006, the Pentagon offered enlistment bonuses to join the military. Ten years later, the California National Guard, which fabricated numbers in 2006 to meet recruitment targets for the war effort, is demanding that over 2,000 veterans clean up the Pentagon’s mistake by repaying their enlistment bonuses of $15,000. Incredibly, veterans are even being charged a 1% processing fee for the government’s mistake!
The Pentagon’s clawback is an appalling violation of trust and goodwill between our nation and its veterans. When the Pentagon makes an error 10 years in the past, it shouldn’t be the responsibility of veterans who have relied on and used that bonus to clean up their mistakes.
This incident is yet another example of why Senator Isakson’s “shoot first, ask questions later” approach to war doesn’t serve the interests of America’s military or our veterans. Not only did Senator Isakson attack Jim Barksdale at Georgia’s only US Senate Debate for calling on greater funding of the VA to meet the $2.75 billion VA budget shortfall in 2015, but even as Chairman of the Veterans Affairs Committee, Senator Isakson can’t get his own VA reform bills passed through his own party. While Johnny Isakson wants to start ground wars in Syria and Russia, Jim Barksdale believes in taking care of our current veterans first. That’s simple common sense any Georgian can understand, and it shows once again how out of touch Senator Isakson has become.