In a financial blunder, the federal government overpaid hundreds of Iowa National Guard soldiers. Unsurprisingly they now want the money back.
The unfortunate news arrived a day after the soldiers enjoyed a welcome home ceremony after a yearlong deployment in the Middle East.
366 of the 400 members of the 248th Aviation Support Battalion received overpayments that varied greatly from $2 to $4,500.
Lt. Col. Michael Wunn, a spokesman for the Iowa National Guard explained to the Quad-City Times:
“When National Guard soldiers deploy in a federal status supporting an overseas contingency, their pay is managed by the active duty Army component,” Wunn explained. “This includes starting and stopping pay according to each soldier’s dates of duty. It appears the problem stems from an issue at the demobilization station (Fort Hood, Texas) that caused some members of the battalion to continue receiving their active duty pay and/or entitlements once their active duty orders ended.”
The involved soldiers were immediately notified and Wunn added that many “have already taken steps to repay this money.”
However this doesn’t mean that some of those affected aren’t struggling with the news.
“We understand this creates a hardship for those affected,” Wunn said. “The Defense Finance and Accounting Services provides Soldiers with a variety of options to repay the debt they incurred as a result of the overpayment.”
“Soldiers are not required to have the debt paid in full before the end of the year, but they must understand that if they don’t have their debt settled before the end of the current tax year, they will need to file an amended tax return for 2018 once the debt is repaid,” he continued.