U.S. Representative Jeff Denham (R-Turlock) on Monday met with CalGuard Commander, Major General Baldwin, during a meet and greet at the Manteca VFW Hall to discuss and recognize the near end of the CalGuard bonus repayment ordeal and the favorable resolution of California’s 10th district constituents’ cases.
“The bureaucracy should never supersede the soldiers in the battlefield or veterans returning home,” said Rep. Denham at the Nov. 20 gathering. “The CalGuard’s pay issue should have never taken so long to resolve. With a redefined mission and fraud in the system, the Department of Defense should have recognized and expedited all pay disputes.”
General Baldwin offered an update on the Work for Warriors Program, a state and federal partnership, which Denham has supported in Congress. This program helps veterans find employment and has helped thousands of California veterans get a job through connecting with over 350 business partners throughout the state.
Dating back to 2006, certain California National Guard employees enticed thousands of soldiers to reenlist using fraudulent bonuses to help meet recruitment goals. Those who accepted the bonuses were unaware of the fraud until the Pentagon began demanding the money be returned. In October 2016, veteran and local teacher Chris Van Meter brought national attention to the issue, and since this time, nearly 17,000 veterans’ cases were reviewed and California soldiers were repaid the bonuses and student loans they earned in good faith.
Denham represents California’s 10th congressional district, which includes Stanislaus County and a portion of San Joaquin County. He is the chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials and also serves on the House Committees on Agriculture and Natural Resources.