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Heinrich Urges National Guard To Fully Compensate New Mexico Servicemembers; Requests Audit

on September 24, 2015 - 8:32am

U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich

STATE News:

WASHINGTON, D.C.  – U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., is urging the National Guard Bureau near Washington D.C. to conduct an audit to ensure New Mexico National Guardsmen are being properly compensated for their service.

 After his office was contacted by a New Mexico National Guardsman who said he wasn't fully compensated for his re-enlistment bonus, Heinrich received confirmation that there was no record of his payment being processed. In response, Heinrich sent a letter Wednesday to the National Guard asking that it immediately rectify the situation.

“My staff inquired about the status of this payment and we have since received confirmation from the Army National Guard that he was owed $7,500 in 2009, but there is no record of this payment ever being processed. I ask that you move quickly to rectify the situation,” wrote Sen. Heinrich in the letter Wednesday to National Guard Bureau Chief General Frank Grass. “To ensure that no other New Mexico National Guardsmen have been denied his or her earned reenlistment bonus, I also urge you to immediately conduct an audit to determine whether all were fully paid, and if not, to take immediate measures to ensure that servicemembers receive all outstanding payments they are owed.”

Heinrich said that he is committed to ensuring the United States keeps its promises and fairly compensates the men and women in uniform and encourages New Mexicans to contact his office for assistance with federal benefits.

A full text of the letter is available below:

General Frank Grass
Chief, National Guard Bureau                                 
Jefferson Plaza 1
1411 Jefferson Davis Highway
Arlington, VA 22202-3231

Dear General Grass:

I write to express my serious concerns regarding the possibility of a significant breach of contractual obligations to our servicemembers and the need to take immediate action to ensure the United States keeps its promises and fairly compensates our men and women in uniform.

Earlier this year, a constituent contacted me and indicated that he never received the full re-enlistment bonus promised to him for extending his obligation with the New Mexico Army National Guard. My staff inquired about the status of this payment and we have since received confirmation from the Army National Guard that he was owed $7,500 in 2009, but there is no record of this payment ever being processed. I ask that you move quickly to rectify the situation.

To ensure that no other New Mexico National Guardsmen have been denied his or her earned reenlistment bonus, I also urge you to immediately conduct an audit to determine whether all were fully paid, and if not, to take immediate measures to ensure that servicemembers receive all outstanding payments they are owed.

The ability to maintain the strongest and most dedicated military force in the world depends on our nation's ability to keep its promises. I look forward to your prompt reply and to hear what steps you will take to ensure those promises are kept.

Thank you for your service to our country.


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