Thousands of soldiers in the California National Guard that were paid enlistment bonuses to fight in the Iraq War and Afghanistan, are now being forced to pay them back.

When they were short of troops to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan at the height of those wars a decade ago, soldiers were offered large enlistment bonuses to enlist and, in many cases, reenlist in the California National Guard. Now the Pentagon is saying they were accidentally overpaid, and is demanding that around 10,000 veterans, many of who did multiple combat tours, repay those oversized bonuses.

Audits revealed that the California National Guard was overstepping their limit for such bonuses, and now anyone who received more than $15,000 is on the hook for their mistake. Those who do not, or cannot (which will be the case for many) repay the ill-gotten bonuses, are going to be hit with tax liens, wage garnishments, and even interest charges.

Many of the soldiers, who may not have agreed to serve without those incentives, are expressing that they feel betrayed, and rightfully so. In a system where our veterans are already severely mistreated, making them pay for the mistakes of others, after they've already put their lives on the line to defend our freedoms, is a complete miscarriage of justice. Hopefully someone steps up and makes this right for our troops.