Experiencing a financial crisis is very stressful especially if you did nothing wrong. Some of us had that experience at one point in our lives when we realize we’ve been screwed or made a bad investment.
“Still Waiting”, is Janetra Johnson’s first memoir, about the loss of her military and civilian retirements and how she had been waiting over a decade for benefits from the California Veterans Affairs. The long wait for those benefits had placed her in a total financial crisis for almost a decade. While Janetra waits for those benefits, she chronicled two decades of National Guard history in which she discusses her financial nightmares of slavery and the Jim Crow era, that began while she was in the California Air National Guard.
She filed her federal lawsuit in 2009 and was one of the first to question the Guards pay practices. Case Title: Johnson v. Departments of the Army and Air Force et al. She benchmarked the National Guards pay policy with the Department of Defense and discovered a financial error. The National Guard should have made a financial change in 1997 from a deregulated pay policy to a regulated one. The Ninth Circuit declined to review the case because it collided with the military feres doctrine. First, the Guard attempted to delete its error and bar review. Then, it motioned the federal courts to stricken the financial documents with the error and other information from the Appeals record.
The National Guard made the financial change from a deregulated to a regulated pay policy without disclosing or publicly acknowledging the error. Most people don’t know the financial error in the Guards pay policy existed. However, some are familiar with the 8.5 trillion dollars the military says it can’t find and the California National Guards recruiting bonus calamity.
In her memoir, Janetra sets out to persuade her readers to take the next step and review her court files. She had preserved a historical account of the Guards financial policies and performance illusions between 1997 and 2014. The financial documents were put in place during the two decades the Department of Defense should have been audited ready.
Janetra hopes that the documents she preserved in her federal court help soldiers and veterans survive the Guards financial crisis. Her book and court case should be shared with anyone in the Department of Defense who needs financial empathy.