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Donnelly Presses DOD on Off-Ramp of IN National Guard Units

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Washington, D.C. —Yesterday, Senator Joe Donnelly questioned Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and Acting Under Secretary of Defense Jessica Wright about an issue important to more than one thousand Indiana families: the off-ramping (cancelled deployment) of four Indiana National Guard units, two of which were just six weeks away from deploying.  The Army replaced these units with active duty units from a neighboring state.  In a few days, these National Guard families will lose their healthcare benefits, and 142 soldiers who reenlisted to serve in these deployments will have their bonuses cancelled and they will be asked to reenlist without the bonus.
“Hoosiers have said, ‘Look, we’re willing to share the burden. We’re willing to stand up for our country and reduce costs.  But Indiana’s National Guard shouldn’t have to bear the burden for the Army,’” said Donnelly.  “In just a few days, National Guard families lose their healthcare benefits and some soldiers lose their reenlistment bonuses.  We need to show that even during these challenging budget discussions, the well-being of the people who serve our great nation comes first.”
Donnelly concluded, “I am here to try to make sure that this is made right because what was done was not.”
Following the announcement of the off-ramp in March, Senator Donnelly sent a letter to the Secretary of Defense and the Chief of Staff of the Army asking them to reconsider his decision.  In response, the Army delayed the off-ramps by one month, giving Guard members and their families additional time on payroll and with health benefits, allowing them the transition time they have earned.
For a link to the letter Donnelly sent, click http://www.donnelly.senate.gov/record.cfm?id=341319
To view Senator Donnelly question Secretary Hagel, click ">
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