California National Guardsman Discusses Bonus Repayment Program Monday, October 31, 2016 | Sacramento, CA Listen / download audio Update RequiredTo play audio, update browser or Flash plugin. California National Guard / Flickr For years, the California National Guard doled out bonuses as a recruitment tool for new soldiers to enlist during the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. However, thousands of soldiers were given bonuses they were ineligible for were being required to pay it back. Defense Secretary Ash Carter halted the bonus repayment program, but that came long after many soldiers already paid tens of thousands of dollars. Among those soldiers is infantryman Mark Hodge, who’s appealing to get his money back. Hodge joins Sacramento Bee Government Reporter Adam Ashton, who’s been covering the story closely, in studio.