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Esquire magazine has a fascinating article up on the SEAL Team 6 member who shot Osama bin Laden and the struggles he has gone through since leaving the military.

Identified only as "The Shooter," his story is chronicled in "The Man Who Killed Osama bin Laden ... Is Screwed."

The Shooter recounts entering the room where Bin Laden was and seeing him with one of his wives. The room was pitch black but The Shooter had night-vision goggles.

In that second, I shot him, two times in the forehead. Bap! Bap! The second time as he's going down. He crumpled onto the floor in front of his bed and I hit him again, Bap! same place. That time I used my EOTech red-dot holo sight. He was dead. Not moving. His tongue was out. I watched him take his last breaths, just a reflex breath.

And I remember as I watched him breathe out the last part of air, I thought: Is this the best thing I've ever done, or the worst thing I've ever done? This is real and that's him. Holy shit.

You'd think that such service to his country wouldn't leave The Shooter high and dry after leaving the military, but he is now adrift. He is split from his wife, fearful for his and his family's safety and left without a pension or government insurance.
The loss of income and insurance and no pension aside, she can no longer walk onto the local base if she feels a threat to her family. They've surrendered their military IDs. If something were to happen, the Shooter has instructed her to take the kids to the base gate anyway and demand to see the commanding officer, or someone from the SEAL team. "He said someone will come get us."

Because of the mission, she says that "my family is always going to be at risk. It's just a matter of finding coping strategies."

The Shooter still dips his hand in his pocket when they're in a store, checking for a knife in case there's an emergency. He also keeps his eyes on the exits.

He's lost some vision, he can't get his neck straight for any period of time. Right now, she's just waiting to see what he creates for himself in this new life.

And she's waiting to see how he replaces even the $60,000 a year he was making (with special pay bonuses for different activities). Or how they can afford private health insurance that covers spinal injections she needs for her own sports injuries.

Disgraceful is about the only word that describes it. Although his experience is certainly not unique. Countless veterans going back to the Revolutionary War have been screwed over. It's shameful.

The best offer that the Department of defense could come up with for him was some kind of makeshift witness protection program in which he would drive a beer truck in Milwaukee.

Seriously?

The article goes into great detail about the raid and the planning that went into it. It also makes one reference to a discussion about what they would do if things went horibly wrong.

The group discussed what would happen if they were surrounded by Pakistani troops. We would surrender. The original plan was to have Vice-President Biden fly to Islamabad and negotiate our release with Pakistan's president.

This is hearsay, but I understand Obama said, Hell no. My guys are not surrendering. What do we need to rain hell on the Pakistani military? That was the one time in my life I was thinking, I am fucking voting for this guy. I had a picture of him lying in bed at night, thinking, You're not fucking with my guys. Like, he's thinking about us.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Didn't see this already posted (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bontemps2012

    So please forgive me if it is redundant.

  •  He has health insurance. Private. And (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Chi, wader, peacestpete

    Expensive. (Paper I saw issued a correction on that.)

    And I'm confused - I thought all combat vets got lifelong insurance through the VA.

    Anyone?

    •  VA would treat him, but not any of his (11+ / 0-)

      family members.

      "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

      by Lily O Lady on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 02:10:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  There are several reports (15+ / 0-)

      on the Esquire article that talk about him having no insurance, but The Washington Post does now have a correction up about that. It seems he is now paying about $450 a month for a private plan.

      I'll change the headline.

    •  asdf (17+ / 0-)

      "And I'm confused - I thought all combat vets got lifelong insurance through the VA."

      Only for service related injuries/illness that can be documented as service related.

      If you're career, you get to go into Tricare system.  I'm not sure if they have to pay into that or not.  If you leave the military before reaching career status, you're SOL on insurance and retirement benefits.  Except for what can be proven to be service related injuries/illnesses.

      •  and since having a bullseye on your back isn't an (0+ / 0-)

        injury or illness, tough luck, sucker?

        "Well, yeah, the Constitution is worth it if you succeed." - Nancy Pelosi // Question: "succeed" at what?

        by nailbender on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 03:44:20 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  That's not true, although sadly way too many vets (8+ / 0-)

        believe that it is and go without needed care.

        If you served in a combat theater within the last five years, you qualify.

        That aside, most (not all) vets who got an Honorable discharge and many(not all) who got medical discharges do qualify.

        Many people aren't aware of the various priority groups, and think that if they aren't eligible for priority 1 they're just not eligible.

        Vets being treated for a service related injury always come first, but that doesn't mean others aren't eligible for care.

        Only about a third of the men and women eligible for VA care are signed up.  Getting them signed up is one of the primary purposes of various "operation stand down" events  for homeless vets around the country.

        Many people have gone decades suffering without treatment for severe problems when they were entitled to care all along.  Suffice it to say that not only the tragedies in many of these stories but the fact that they are so unnecessary is heart breaking.

        So, please, don't spread misinformation about this.  I am certain it is not your intent, but really does hurt people.

        http://www.va.gov/...

        It takes a special depth of moral bankruptcy to become the target of Tom Tomorrow.

        by JesseCW on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 04:17:51 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thank you, JesseCW! (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JesseCW, Over the Edge, miss SPED, JVolvo

          While I'm sure that the commenter, above, meant well and no doubt believes what's written it is very, very factually incorrect.

          Repeating this misinformation does, as you point out, harm veterans in the real world by discouraging them from applying for the health care benefits they have earned.

          While the whole priority groups schedule is too long and too complex to be included in a comment, those interested can find a complete explanation here.

          “Perhaps the most 'spiritual' thing any of us can do is simply to look through our own eyes, see with eyes of wholeness, and act with integrity and kindness.” Jon Kabat-Zinn

          by DaNang65 on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 04:47:31 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Tricare is open to retired personnel and their (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sacrelicious, JesseCW, kurt, JVolvo

        Families (spouse and children). Yes we pay for it, also delta dental which is another insurance we can buy into if retired. Medical retirement is a different case. The tricare program costs at least 20 years of your life, and the GOP wants to take it away. And yes, the ACA raised our premiums and I don't mind.

        They say a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but it's not one half so bad as a lot of ignorance.

        by Shippo1776 on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 04:28:59 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  VA insurance would be a hassle if he had any (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Little, quaoar, bontemps2012, BYw, peacestpete

      private health care.  The VA doesn't just give healthcare away.  

      My Brother-in-law is in VA care and he has to be destitute for the VA to cover him

      The best solution here would be for a foundation to cover this guy.   I would contribute.  Perhaps the Clinton Foundation wants to take on a project?  It would require security to protect his identity.

      We will never be free from fear as long as we fear the NRA.

      by captainlaser on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 02:58:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ok, here's where you're off (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tobendaro, Over the Edge, kurt

        I am a disabled veteran with disabilities totalling 160% (still paid at 100%)
        What this guy needs to do is enter a claim for PTSD. It would almost certainly be granted. Depending on the degree, and other disabilities he gets a whole set of.
        Once he gets official acknowledgement of his  disabilityhe wold be given free healthcare.  I get free, 100% coverage and its usually as good as anything else.
        your brother in law needs to get declared officially VA disabled. but even thats not completely necessary. They treat non-service connected vets on a space available basis.  there is a means test if youre not "service connected."

        This person is not abandoned, he just has to make the right moves to get into the system. even if he doesn't there's still care for him.
        I sorta hate to say it but millions of other vets have had similar experiences as this, it just wasn't someone famous we shot. the rest of us anonymous vets didn't get any special treatment either, we ALL had to chase our benefits.

        Happy just to be alive

        by exlrrp on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 04:59:27 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  not insurance. He shows up with his ID, they treat (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Little, kurt, JVolvo

      him. 'S not insurance; it's CARE.

      Quality of which differs depending on which facility he shows up to.

      I wish we all had this kind of access. Show up. Get taken care of, the best the facility can (if they fuck it up, though, you have no recourse).

      LBJ, Lady Bird, Anne Richards, Barbara Jordan, Sully Sullenberger, Ike, Drew Brees, Molly Ivins --Texas is no Bush league! -7.50,-5.59

      by BlackSheep1 on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 08:22:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  What happened to keeping your mouth shut? (24+ / 0-)

    I still don't understand why we have books and interviews featuring many of the details and first person impressions of those involved. If you fear for your kid's life, why do an interview? That is just one more person who knows who you are.

    "There is nothing more dreadful than the habit of doubt. Doubt separates people. It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and breaks up pleasant relations. It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that kills.".. Buddha

    by sebastianguy99 on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 02:13:16 PM PST

    •  He has no choice. Read the article. (0+ / 0-)

      "Have you left no sense of decency, sir, at long last?" Army Attorney to Sen. McCarthy, 1954. "We have done nothing to be ashamed of. We have nothing to apologize for." NRA 12/14/2012.

      by bontemps2012 on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 03:26:24 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  He does too have a choice. No one forced him to (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JesseCW, murrayewv, quiet in NC, VTCC73, JVolvo

        ...do an interview.

        It was also his choice not to stay in the service or in the reserves.

        I think it is also good to read another perspective on his situation. I know the Esquire article failed to convince me why this guy cannot get a lucrative position with any number of DOD contractors.

        "There is nothing more dreadful than the habit of doubt. Doubt separates people. It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and breaks up pleasant relations. It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that kills.".. Buddha

        by sebastianguy99 on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 04:10:20 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  "Lucrative position with any number (0+ / 0-)

          of DoD contractors...."

          You are kidding ???

          Try reading the 7-page article.

          "Have you left no sense of decency, sir, at long last?" Army Attorney to Sen. McCarthy, 1954. "We have done nothing to be ashamed of. We have nothing to apologize for." NRA 12/14/2012.

          by bontemps2012 on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 03:40:11 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  It has always been thus in the military. My (16+ / 0-)

    dad served in WWII entitling him to care at the VA and burial at Arlington National Cemetery. That's all anyone with less than 20 years of service gets. If you have 19 years of service that's all you get. 20 years is the dividing line.

    Even so, you'll hear complaints from Congress about how much military personnel cost the taxpayers. But they've never met a weapons system they didn't love.

    "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

    by Lily O Lady on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 02:15:02 PM PST

  •  And then you wonder why (5+ / 0-)

    the military overwhelmingly votes Republican time and time again.

    ¡Cállate o despertarás la izquierda! - protest sign in Spain

    by gjohnsit on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 02:25:48 PM PST

  •  Why didn't he take a Navy desk job? (23+ / 0-)

    I read the story, and I think I understand why the 'shooter' doesn't want to continue in that line of work.

    But why he just left the entire Navy after 16 years baffles me. Are we supposed to believe it was all or nothing:

    Admiral: Listen, shooter, I don't care what you want - you signed up to kill people so there's absolutely no WAY we're letting you do anything else for 20 years.

    All of the instructors at BUDS and other training courses are SEALS, of course. I'm sure he could have gotten an assignment basically anywhere, but Coronado on the spit west of San Diego is pretty seculded and safe, IMHO.

    So this just doesn't make any sense - he not only gave up his pension and family medical benefits (for life), but also the security of the military base - most bases have family housing, which, if not super secure, sure beats an apartment somewhere.

    I just don't get it. Why did this guy pull the plug on his career, knowing all of the down-sides, 4 years before retirement. That wasn't explained in the story.

    Cheers.

    Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain. Friedrich Schiller

    by databob on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 02:40:04 PM PST

    •  Dude - I'm sitting here trying to work words (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bontemps2012, DaNang65

      In what world does some other human have to answer to your "Why doesn't he?" about anything? In what world does one even find inside themselves a justification for saying that about a complete stranger?

      This world, I guess, but so weird.

      •  I don't understand your comment... (10+ / 0-)

        and I mean that seriously.

        The shooter decided to open up publicly - even if anonymously, more or less - and when you do that, you are accepting, or even asking for, commentary or even criticism of what you say.

        So I don't understand the problem with me wondering why the shooter CHOSE to abandon everything.

        I suppose he had a good reason, but I read the story and didn't find one in there. Getting out of the killing business, sure, that's totally understandable, but making the kind of career choice he did - with all of the ramifications known to him before hand..... I don't get it.

        And, of course, doing all of that, and then sitting down and blabbing about it to a reporter - even under 'guarantee of anonymity - makes absolutely NO sense at all.

        Consider: the reporter knows who he is and where he is.... does the reporter have personal security? Is he immune to torture? Will he die to keep the shooter's identity secret?

        There's a lot to this, and it wasn't me who brought it up, it was the shooter, wasn't it?

        Cheers.

        Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain. Friedrich Schiller

        by databob on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 03:41:03 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Anyone Who Left a Lifetime Pension a Few Years (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mmacdDE, second gen, Larsstephens, JVolvo

        shy would be the subject of such a question. We heard it all the time at my state gov job.

        We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

        by Gooserock on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 04:04:28 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  In my universe, I answer that question myslef (0+ / 0-)

          so quickly with a "Hmm, could be anything. And could be things so delicate and rough that I'll not make that stranger "the subject of such a question," I'll just wish him peace on his road. I personaly consider that part of the growing up process.

      •  He LEFT the service BEFORE his 20 years. Even (0+ / 0-)

        I know that's a pension/benefit killer.  Why the sob story?  He bailed for the book deal and screwed himself re the rock solid 20 Year commitment.

        What is so hard for you to grasp?

        The GOP says you have to have an ID to vote, but $ Millionaire donors should remain anonymous?

        by JVolvo on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 08:41:50 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Maybe you can give him a call and ask him? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      quaoar

      Frankly, many of these guys probably thought they could parlay this into a book.   They didn't think that through, given the security problem.

      The military is not going to do anything special to protect them so that they don't stand out.  And if they want the appreciation of the public, remember this is America where we ignored hundreds of thousands of returning vets.

      I gave an idea above about this Seal getting support from a foundation.  Maybe he should talk to IAVA about support... and maybe they could link him up with Wounded Warriors.

      We will never be free from fear as long as we fear the NRA.

      by captainlaser on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 03:03:51 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I don't understand how we can leave him (7+ / 0-)

    and his family without some kind of protection.

    Seems like all those guys on that raid deserve it for themselves and their families.

    Always feel like we use these guys up and then toss them out and forget them when they've outlived their usefulness to us.

    It's just not right.

    Confession time: When I'm not ranting about politics, I write romance novels

    by teresahill on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 02:41:25 PM PST

    •  I don't think we 'tossed him out' (16+ / 0-)

      He quit. He knew he would lose all of his security, his benefits, his pension, his medical, etc. and he just quit.

      He said they offered him a sort of 'witness protection' as a 'beer truck driver in Milwaukee'. I don't know if that was literal or just a general description of what the Navy offered, but that sure sounds better than what he's got right now, doesn't it?

      On a general note, I agree with you that the way our heroes - all of them, not just the spec ops guys - are treated after they get used up in war is disgraceful, even inhumane. We owe them a LOT more than what we begrudgingly give them.

      Cheers.

      Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain. Friedrich Schiller

      by databob on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 02:48:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  At some point (4+ / 0-)

        The strain on your marriage, children and general psychological well-being can outweigh your need to stay to an arbitrary number of years to qualify for a pension and other benefits.

        Sometimes folks are "tossed out" by the general condition they find themselves in.

        •  Yes. Sounds like he just couldn't do it anymore. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          quaoar, wader

          The article says these guys can be gone up to 300 days a year, and they've been going constantly since 9/11.

          How long can we really expect anyone to do a job like that?

          They're not machines. They're human beings.

          Confession time: When I'm not ranting about politics, I write romance novels

          by teresahill on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 03:24:06 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  My Brother Sat at a Navy Desk for Years. (0+ / 0-)

          Never set foot on so much as a dinghy.

          It's a real shame there wasn't some other assignment to fill out his pension.

          We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

          by Gooserock on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 04:05:58 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  I don't know about the equivalence of this guy (9+ / 0-)

        versus Soldier Joe who shoots a bad guy in an alley in Baghdad.

        While both of them did the same thing, OBL is a special case and we are interested enough in that story to make an Oscar quality Hollywood movie.

        For Soldier Joe?   He gets the same VA crap as everybody else.  And requiring you to be career army to get benefits is bullshit.  After a tour in Iraq or Afghanistan, I give props to any Joe who decides to get the shit out after six years.   And the VA should cover them, even if their injuries are PTSD.  But the VA will make it difficult to prove PTSD and when he gets to be 65 and has been dysfunctional all his life and they won't cover him because the war "injury" is not proven.....

        Oh, wait, I'm talking about my Brother-in-Law and that was the rant I went through last week at the Fresno VA.

        We will never be free from fear as long as we fear the NRA.

        by captainlaser on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 03:16:17 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm for that guy deserving much better than (6+ / 0-)

          we offer him, too.

          Sorry about your BIL. My two favorite uncles served in Vietnam. One has all sorts of autoimmune issues from Agent Orange and a back that's been screwed up ever since he got back.

          Confession time: When I'm not ranting about politics, I write romance novels

          by teresahill on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 03:22:37 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  some has changed under the Obama admin (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kurt

          Vets that served in war zones and other hostile locales no longer have to prove they were in life threatening situations.    Being there is proof enough.  That was always the biggest hurdle in a PTSD claim.  That changed in 2010.

        •  No it isn't bullshit (0+ / 0-)

          We all know the system and how it works.

        •  Its very easy to prove PTSD (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Larsstephens, kurt

          they almost give it away. as noted above in other places, all you have to do is prove service in a war zone. whenI got it, you needed  lot more/ . sometimes not even that. I know a guy who got 50% PTSD from watching a barracks fight.
          tell yur brother to file for PTSD NOW!! even if he's turned down, if he wains a later appeal he can get paid back to the original claim. I know someone who got over $300K , taxfree.

          Better not to rant at the VA, it never helps: better to get a big friend, like a Congressman

          Happy just to be alive

          by exlrrp on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 05:14:19 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Truck driver is not a good option anyway (0+ / 0-)

        He has blown-out disks in his spine.

        Freedom isn't free. Patriots pay taxes.

        by Dogs are fuzzy on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 04:04:52 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I don't understand why the interviews. (6+ / 0-)

    It doesn't jell for me. Who would have known if there was no bragging?

    Be the change you want to see in the world. -Gandhi

    by DRo on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 02:54:03 PM PST

    •  If you killed OBL, would you just sit on it and (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DRo, quaoar, Gooserock

      go to the kids soccer game?  I'm sure he got paid for the interview.   And it is only one way that he could get something for his story.

      Think of the trauma Paul Tibbetts lived through after the Hiroshima raid.   Fame is a two-edged sword.

      I am reading "Unbroken", the story of Louis Zamparini who was an Olympic runner who was captured as a POW in WWII after crashing in the Pacific.   The PTSD after the war was horrific but fame does nothing to alleviate the scars of war.

      I feel sorry for this Seal, appreciate him for his service, and hope he can hook up with Veterans support groups to deal with his issues.

      We will never be free from fear as long as we fear the NRA.

      by captainlaser on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 03:09:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  But didn't he out himself? eom (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wader

        Be the change you want to see in the world. -Gandhi

        by DRo on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 03:32:18 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Reflecting on Salmon Rushdie, Yeah I'd Think (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        captainlaser

        seriously about it.

        We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

        by Gooserock on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 04:07:19 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Tibbets' Name and Phone Number Were in the (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        captainlaser, exlrrp

        Columbus phone directory when I arrived at OSU at the end of the 60's. I've seen him interviewed a number of times and not heard him speak of trauma. In interviews you can see bouncing around the history channels he seems always to have had a clear conscience about the mission.

        We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

        by Gooserock on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 04:08:59 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  CNN reporter said he did NOT get paid for the... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        quaoar

        interview.
        Most mainstream publications do not pay for interviews. Celebrity pubs do.

        I share a birthday with John Lennon and Bo Obama.

        by peacestpete on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 04:28:20 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Um, yep. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DRo, kurt, JVolvo
        If you killed OBL, would you just sit on it and
        go to the kids soccer game?
        I've stated before, my brother just retired after 30 years as a SEAL. The only reason I know he WASN'T the one who took the shot at OBL is because of this article.

        My brother has done a lot of things in 30 years. I know none of it, and likely never will.

        That's what they're trained to do. Do their job and shut up.

        I don't understand this rash of SEALs out jacking their jaws about stuff lately. It goes against the code.

        "Mitt Romney looks like the CEO who fires you, then goes to the Country Club and laughs about it with his friends." ~ Thomas Roberts MSNBC

        by second gen on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 05:58:33 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  the difference is money (0+ / 0-)

          If your brother had been offered a lot of money to tell his story, I bet he might consider it. I would.

          Obama was given a lot of props by our side for taking out Osama. why shouldn't the guy who actually pulled the trigger>

          Happy just to be alive

          by exlrrp on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 06:33:19 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Because. He can't. To a SEAL, DOING the (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            JVolvo

            job is the glory. They knew going in they couldn't take the credit. It's always been that way. It wasn't until this perceived bullshit from the Swiftboat SEALs claiming that Obama took all the credit that ANY SEAL ever felt as though they were being jilted.

            "Mitt Romney looks like the CEO who fires you, then goes to the Country Club and laughs about it with his friends." ~ Thomas Roberts MSNBC

            by second gen on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 06:35:57 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  part of the problem (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wader

    of job related benefits, medical insurance, pensions, etc.  leave the job, lose all security.

    Full government,  above subsistence level social programs, whatever your job, are the solution.   Then a military vet can quit and go into hiding or get medical help for PTSD, but so can a teacher or beer truck driver.

    I think this man needs help, but no vet really gets enough help.  And there might have been

  •  Pensions (9+ / 0-)

    If he had been a Congressman with 16 years of service, he would collect a pension of $47,328 a year.

    From opm.gov:

    Member of Congress or Congressional Employee (or any combination of the two) must have at least 5 years of service as a Member of Congress and/or Congressional Employee

    *1.7% of your high-3 average salary multiplied by your years of service as a Member of Congress or Congressional Employee which do not exceed 20, PLUS

    *1% of your high-3 average salary multiplied by your years of other service

    37, male, NY-14 (born), NJ-9 (raised), MA-1 (college), CT-1 (now)

    by kalu on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 03:21:47 PM PST

  •  There's a shitload more to this. (10+ / 0-)

    We're getting a story and a coat of paint.

    You know there's much more.

    "Have you left no sense of decency, sir, at long last?" Army Attorney to Sen. McCarthy, 1954. "We have done nothing to be ashamed of. We have nothing to apologize for." NRA 12/14/2012.

    by bontemps2012 on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 03:31:24 PM PST

    •  I agree.... there's a lot not being said (8+ / 0-)

      and the biggest unanswered questions:

      Why give up the (relative) safety and security that the military offers?

      And then, having done that, why go shoot off your mouth about it, especially complaining about your lack of security and safety?

      Why not just get a home-base job, like training or flying a desk, move into on-base housing at Coronado, serve out your 20 years (or more), get your pension and lifetime medical, THEN move on?

      All I'm saying is that this doesn't make sense, based on what the shooter has chosen to tell us.

      Cheers.

      Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain. Friedrich Schiller

      by databob on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 03:47:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  There is no safety. Not after the book (0+ / 0-)

        came out and MattB got tagged.

        There is no safety for anybody with any connection to MattB through ST6.

        Dope it out.

        One gets paid. Everybody gets their lives wrecked and their families' lives wrecked.

        Obama: get off your ass and activate DoJ's program for these guys. Everybody on ST6.

        And look at what Paris Opera Ballet does for their dancers. That's a class act. Figure 10 years with ST6 exceeds anything ballet dancers do to reach age 40.

        Navy went brain dead on what being in ST6 for a decade means. 10 years there exceeds 30 years doing any other job in the Navy.

        "Have you left no sense of decency, sir, at long last?" Army Attorney to Sen. McCarthy, 1954. "We have done nothing to be ashamed of. We have nothing to apologize for." NRA 12/14/2012.

        by bontemps2012 on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 06:09:36 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I started to read this article and got mired in (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gooserock

    extraneous detail. What happened to him and his pension?

    "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

    by eXtina on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 03:54:12 PM PST

    •  Simply: No pension if you quit short of 20 years (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JVolvo

      There's no vesting, or partial.

      At 20 years active duty, you can retire on 50% of your pay (not including special pay for hazardous duty, etc), with full lifetime medical for you and your family (some co-pays apply).

      That goes up by 2.5% per year until you reach 30 years, topping out at 75%.... unless they changed it in the past decade or two since my time.

      It may not seem like much, but where else can you get a job at age 18 with absolutely no education or skills, work for 20 years and retire with decent benefits? Cop or fireman, maybe, but that's about it.

      Cheers.

      Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain. Friedrich Schiller

      by databob on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 04:00:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  As I've Commented at a few media sites (0+ / 0-)


    Son, you've been 'abandoned', like the main missions for even sending the military into that region were long ago with the cheering drumbeats at Iraq, by The People, who frankly are the Government in this represented democracy!!!!!
    War Tax Mention Ten Plus Years Later?
    "If military action is worth our troops’ blood, it should be worth our
    treasure, too — not just in the abstract, but in the form of a specific
    ante by every American." Andrew Rosenthal 10 Feb. 2013 OpEd NYT @andyrNYT:disqus

    Deficits started rising rapidly along with the started rubber stamping Before 9/11 - Wars have not been paid for but especially the long term results for the Veterans Administration, the peoples responsibility!

    How does a Country HONOR It's Fallen, by Their Own 'Sacrifice' in Taking Care of the Brothers and Sisters They Served With!!

    USN All Shore '67-'71 GMG3 Vietnam In Country '70-'71

    And had a diary up about the 'war tax' earlier today, and have stated over and over, especially on this site and watched just what I expected would happen when mentioned!!

    I don't give a crap who was for or against these wars of choice, nor what political symbol letter you put after your names, and if buying that administrations con on Iraq then you cheered on abandoning the main missions, and promises, for why we even sent the military into that region!

    The VA, and a situation like this, though I'm skeptical some of what this brought out and by him, he does have a book to pimp just like the best of the best sniper, special forces like all our intelligence and CIA are protected after leaving service, how many have you heard about being dumped like he says he has been, has been under funded, with wars, since Korea. And the Whole Country likes it that way, reason they ignore the veterans and especially of our wars and have already started ignoring these present vets right from almost the beginning!!

    So look in the mirror!! And at some reported 70%plus support in the lead up to 'shock and awe' Iraq don't play the innocents and blame your usual suspects!!

    Vets On FLOTUS and SLOTUS, "Best - Ever": "We haven't had this kind of visibility from the White House—ever." Joyce Raezer - Dec. 30, 2011

    by jimstaro on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 03:58:52 PM PST

    •  Jim.... (0+ / 0-)

      Usually you're brilliant, at worst thoughtful.

      That's what's happening. Read the 7 page article.

      They all have to bail out. They and their families are now in the bull's eye.

      "Have you left no sense of decency, sir, at long last?" Army Attorney to Sen. McCarthy, 1954. "We have done nothing to be ashamed of. We have nothing to apologize for." NRA 12/14/2012.

      by bontemps2012 on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 06:12:22 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Not Really Sure (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    quaoar, bontemps2012

    We can hold a returning combat veteran to the same standards that we hold workers at regular jobs here in the U.S. when it comes to benefits.

    It would not surprise me at all that the psychological impact of having killed Osama bin Laden would end his ability to continue on in his current military role and even his ability to participate further in other jobs in the military. The extreme stress, fears of subsequent public scrutiny, realization that you will spend the rest of your life in danger ...

    This has really got to have taken a toll.

    For those above who want to know the "real story" of why he quit the military -- are you freaking kidding me? I would not be surprised if this experience didn't cause a mental collapse that rendered him unable to work or make rational decisions about his future career.

    "I'll believe that corporations are people when I see Rick Perry execute one."

    by bink on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 04:19:51 PM PST

    •  Counting a year in ST6 like a year (0+ / 0-)

      in a boomer or a year on a carrier ???

      WTF are the personnel people in the Navy thinking?

      Nobody went to Congress and got something together for these guys. Nothing happened.

      Nobody looked at the spouse killings and the suicides -- sweep it under somebody else's effing rug. Crazy....

      "Have you left no sense of decency, sir, at long last?" Army Attorney to Sen. McCarthy, 1954. "We have done nothing to be ashamed of. We have nothing to apologize for." NRA 12/14/2012.

      by bontemps2012 on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 06:16:47 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Did you see "Zero Dark Thirty"? (0+ / 0-)

    During the portrayal of the actual Abbotabad raid, the SEAL who shot OBL makes a comment about how he "just shot 'the third-floor-guy"' (paraphrased), and he seems freaked-out by that realization.   I wonder if that nuanced performance in the film came directly from an interview with the shooter himself, or came as an observation from one of his SEAL teammates during research for the movie?

    Anyone know?

  •  "No Easy Day" (0+ / 0-)

    I think this guy just might be Mark Owen/Mark Bissonette.

    From the Wikipedia entry for that book:
    In early September 2012, former SEAL Brandon Webb said he had learned Owen had decided to write the book after a "slight" from the US Navy shortly before he separated from the service.[8] According to Webb, when Owen told his comrades on SEAL Team Six that he was going to leave the service, he was ostracized by his leadership and ordered to return to his home base, although his unit was in the middle of a training exercise.

    That could be a reason why a 16-year veteran SEAL would leave the service short of that 20-year requirement.  
    JMO, but it's the only reason that would make any sense to me.

    •  Also.... (0+ / 0-)

      I don't understand why other SEALS (or hell, members of other Special Operations branches/units) wouldn't be reaching out to help this guy and his family.   What of the WIVES of his former SEAL teammates?   If there's one consistency we know for sure about these guys, it's that they are a very close-knit group.

      And that's just INFORMAL support that doesn't even get into all the various charity-type groups which have formed over the years to help veterans and their families.

      We're not getting the full story here, methinks.

  •  Do the comments to this diary (0+ / 0-)

    set an all-time record for screw ball unfunny ???

    Maybe... all of three people read the Esquire article before typing.

    Comment after comment displays ignorance and utter failure/lack-of-effort to dope out what the identification of Mark Bissonette means to the ST6 community.

    Raise your fucking games, folks.

    This diary addresses a life and death situation and the comments are beneath embarrassment.

    "Have you left no sense of decency, sir, at long last?" Army Attorney to Sen. McCarthy, 1954. "We have done nothing to be ashamed of. We have nothing to apologize for." NRA 12/14/2012.

    by bontemps2012 on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 03:50:45 AM PST

  •  I thought it was a great article (0+ / 0-)

    Thank you for posting a link to it.

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