Edit: A version of this story said Zulkoski was “able to keep his nursing job with the charges on his record”. It has been changed to reflect he was never actually charged.

COLORADO — The Guard Recruiting Assistance Program (G-RAP) ran from 2005-2012 when it was suspended because of widespread fraud. And those who participated — even though they may not have been responsible or took part in the fraud — have been caught up in the dragnet.

Staff Sgt. Ryan Zulkoski was an Army National Guardsman who joined up with G-RAP because he said he enjoyed enlisting people for the Guard. G-RAP also offered a $2000 bonus for each recruit that went through basic training.

Ryan Zulkoski speaks about his experiences with the CID investigation.

“I really believed in the National Guard and its mission. And with G-RAP it’s like — okay, I have that much more incentive to actually go out there and make this happen,” Zulkoski said.

Several years later, he said he heard from someone he recruited that the Army Criminal Investigation Division (CID) was asking about him for their investigation into recruiters abusing the G-RAP system.

“He’s like: ‘Hey, just a heads up, CID was asking me questions about how I knew you and stuff.’ And I was like: ‘Okay, yeah who cares… I don’t care.'”

At the time, Zulkoski said he wasn’t worried. Then, he started reading about the horror stories of the CID investigations.

“They publicized all their investigations. They were breaking down people’s doors,” he said.

And then the call finally came. This then started a three-year long investigation process.

“That was probably the worst, darkest time of my life. I was taking out extra [life] insurance policies,” Zulkoski said.

He said even if he was innocent, it would be on his record that he was arrested for fraud and identity theft, which could cost him his job.

“I timed it so that I could take my life and my family would still be cared for.”

Nothing came of the investigation and, even though he said he was able to keep his nursing job with his background check saying he was arrested for fraud and identity theft, the fight is not over yet, adding people involved with G-RAP can still be pursued by CID since there are no statutes of limitations.

“There’s a wartime clause that says if we’re in a declared active wartime scenario that they can investigate military-associated crimes beyond what would be normal statue of limitations,” said Sgt. 1st Class Jeremy Thompson, a former participant in the G-RAP program.

Jeremy Thompson talks about the lack of statutes of limitations involved with the investigation.

He considers himself fortunate his case was dismissed at the federal level due to circumstantial evidence and he already had a job lined up that didn’t take what the CID said seriously. But, he said he knows many people with different stories.

“If you know you haven’t done anything wrong and you’re a hundred percent confident in it, it’ll eventually be okay but it’s going to be uncomfortable in the front end,” Thompson said.

One way former participants in the program said they found help and solace was through this Facebook page.