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Reading the posting yesterday, when it first hit, the first thought I had as to what really was misinformation was an attempt to market an upcoming book. My guess, only, the author of the piece and not the SEAL. By hyping to anyone anything, especially in this age of gross misinformation, that many take as informed news, and make themselves look like fools because they're to lazy to actually find facts that can be done quickly, or informed political information. The big grifts by seasoned or new to the game grifters!

Some vets crying foul over SEAL's claims

12 February 2013 - Esquire's upcoming cover story profiling the U.S. Navy SEAL who killed Osama bin Laden is being questioned by critics who say the magazine falsely claims the former SEAL Team 6 member has been denied health care since leaving the military.
snip

But according to Stars and Stripes magazine, the claim about health care is wrong:

   

"Like every combat veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, the former SEAL, who is identified in the story only as “the Shooter”, is automatically eligible for five years of free health care through the Department of Veterans Affairs."

Stars and Stripes contacted Bronstein, who told the paper that no one told the SEAL he was eligible for health care benefits. He also said that there wasn’t enough space in the Esquire article to, as Stars and Stripes put it, "explain that the former SEAL’s lack of health care was driven by an ignorance of the benefits to which he is entitled."

In the Esquire piece, Bronstein also states that the SEAL was not given a pension. But according to the Stars and Stripes piece, no officer who serves less than 20 years gets a pension "unless he has to medically retire."

“Misinformation like this doesn’t help veterans,” Brandon Friedman, a former VA public affairs officer, told Stars and Stripes. “When one veteran hears in a high-profile story that another veteran was denied care, it makes him or her less likely to enroll in the VA system.”  read more>>>

Any veteran, including us oldsters, who doesn't know their benefits from the still grossly underfunded VA, especially this generation, and after the past four year plus, has to be totally lacking in many abilities within.

Since Shinseki has been in and with those he brought onboard, along with the DoD, the Administration and it's Cabinet, have been fast tracking, that was totally lacking before, outsourcing information in a number of ways to reach any and all veterans, especially online. While the budget for has not grown enough as the people refuse to Sacrifice, not only as to their responsibility to the Veterans Community, a decade plus added to the previous decades and wars of, but even to pay for these two wars!

Originally posted to DKos Military Veterans on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 11:42 AM PST.

Also republished by Military Community Members of Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Almost diaried this myself -- saw it on The Hill (17+ / 0-)

    http://thehill.com/...

    Author of the Esquire piece was doofus who was briefly married to Sharon Stone. What a load.

    I ♥ President Barack Obama.

    by ericlewis0 on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 11:47:29 AM PST

    •  Thought yesterday (13+ / 0-)

      As I put up above, that this is leading to an already written hit piece on the VA, when this so called journalist like the rest of the country haven't ponied up a dime to not only fund the VA but pay for the wars, or one planned and using the SEAL, certainly not helping him. It's obvious the turd himself doesn't do research, kinda like the FOX and the rest of the clan. The tepub reps would love the book, hearings and all, as they continue either trying to cut funds from the underfunded or their long quest to privatize for private profit feeding off the public till!

      Glad to see the Veterans community coming out and calling the grift!

      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 Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 11:55:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The Hill piece (9+ / 0-)

      Shows the quick spin, now the writer is pointing at family health care, when they do this shit not one in the media calls out that they and the country haven't Sacrificed, especially this past decade plus with two rubber stamped costly long occupations and two across the board tax cuts, huge for the class that made more off their investments in. As their government lackeys seek even more cuts for them while hitting everyone else harder!!

      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 Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 12:00:23 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  On 'investments' (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ericlewis0, SilentBrook

        Mentioned above. I keep forgetting to add the congressional critters that were legally investing on insider information and as to both wars and rubber stamped no bid private contracts the tepubs were pretty much the only ones meeting with the bush and cheney on most anything to the wars and more. Wouldn't even let the Dem. congressional minority call for hearings!!

        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 Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 12:06:42 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Don't Think This Diary Does Justice (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jarrayy

    To what the SEAL really said. See Esquire's response:
    http://www.esquire.com/...
    And in that sense it really doesn't do justice to the realities of health insurance in this country.

    •  Not the point (6+ / 0-)

      As I put above and in replies, the article is a hit piece, plain and simple, using the SEAL to do the job intended!!

      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 Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 12:17:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Oh and (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DaNang65, peacestpete

      Health care is a totally different issue, this is about slamming the VA and thus this administration, the only Government Branch doing anything for Military personal, their families and All Veterans not just these younger brothers and sisters, and not the author in Esquire calling out itself or the Country as to the Sacrifice owed, Big Time!

      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 Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 12:39:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  HuffPo took a snippet of the Esquire article (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jimstaro, SilentBrook, joynow, DaNang65

    and posted it. Then took a snippet of a snippet to make a headline.

    The whole article is here: Esquire It runs seven long screens at Esquire, so there's a lot there. A lot more than him and health care.

    Esquire has a correction up, that the man himself has health care, but his wife and children do not.

    He has a variety of health issues related to his service, and the average wait to get a hearing from the military on those health issues and some disability pay is 9 months. A lot of us couldn't go 9 months without a paycheck without being in a world of trouble.

    He also had people at the barracks where the helicopter landed after the Bin Laden raid, soldiers there, who already knew his name as the shooter. By the time the helicopter landed. Not special forces guys. Just soldiers. His name was out. It's out in a lot of places.

    He's freaked out about his family's safety. The military, he said, told him, I guess we could put you in the witness protection program.

    I think he deserves better than this from us. I know how much better, how much safer, I felt like knowing Bin Laden was dead. I felt so much safer for my children, too, and that's worth a lot to me.

    What's it worth to you?

    Better than this man seems to be getting.

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

    by teresahill on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 12:07:03 PM PST

    •  His wife and kids do (4+ / 0-)

      If they're qualified they get medicaid, and the situation sounds like it is just that, and Esquire should know that along with a few clicks at the Veterans Administration site as to the rest of the information, throw in the DoD site as well as they've partnered with the VA, the Administration and other Cabinet members to push information to a wider audience!

      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 Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 12:11:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Shoulda added (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Joieau, SilentBrook

        Should it be this way, NO, but it is for all who serve and come back joining the veterans community.

        The easy targets are the VA and the Pentagon, though the Pentagons funding is rarely questioned especially when the corruption is found. Easy in the congress who represent the people and cut the budgets, especially the tepubs when they attack the VA personal called to testify instead of actually helping! They want the agency making private profits for the private sector new owners of, just like wars that bring the needs for expanded care!

        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 Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 12:16:10 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Okay, here's Esquire's correction (0+ / 0-)

        Correction

        Do they still have it wrong? I'm asking because I really want to know. And is this coverage he can get after the 9 months or so it takes to process his claim? Is it for him and his wife and children? Or just him?

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

        by teresahill on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 02:34:09 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  In a way it's simple, and yet it's so much more (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Actbriniel

          complicated than single yes or no questions and answers. The linked "Correction" is itself a case in point.

          The "Correction," imho, seeks to refute Megan McCloskey's Stars and Stripes call out of Esquire's original piece by drawing technical distinctions based on some vague expectations that are only defined after the fact. Thus, the original article's claim that the Shooter had "no pension, no health care" for "himself or his family" (emphasis added) gets redefined into an Esquire writer's expectation

          There are benefits available to combat veterans via the VA, which "The Shooter" discusses (this constitutes the second factual error in McCloskey's piece, more on that in a moment), so what does Bronstein mean when he writes, "Nothing. No pension, no health care, and no protection for himself or his family..."? Well, he means precisely that. Because while the Shooter may be eligible for some direct benefits from the VA, his wife and two children are eligible for nothing. Not to get too deeply into the philosophy of insurance and the distribution of risk, but that means that under the best scenario, the Shooter is 1/4 covered, which of course means that he is not covered at all.
          That the Shooter has "no health care" for himself gets expanded into if he has no health care for his family he has no health care for himself. Rather than simply admit the factual inaccuracy of the statement, the "Correction" writer chooses to start redefining terms. Based on their own expectations and not what the Shooter always knew, while he served and when he made the decision to end his service.

          Even while rebuking the Stars and Stripes writer for allegedly not understanding what she's writing about, the Esquire writer proves that they themselves are confused, uninformed, and guilty of sloppy at best thinking. Consider this sentence

          Sources from the VA tell us that only 40% of eligible veterans use the benefits, because, as was the case with the Shooter, they aren't aware the benefits exist.
          Really? 40% of veterans use benefits they aren't aware exist? We might know what the writer intended to convey, but that's not what they wrote.

          Similarly, the Esquire writer repeatedly uses the phrase "combat veteran" when, in fact VA health care benefits are not conditional on having been in combat. It's a very complicated system, with numerous variables, which can be found here. That won't, of course, fit into an Esquire size piece, nor does it serve the poutraged position jimstaro has quite accurately described as a hit piece.

          The short answer to your direct question is that the Shooter, like every honorably discharged veteran, gets health care from the VA now if he claims it; his wife and children do not, and they never will unless Congress passes some special legislation and the President signs it. Whether or not the Shooter receives his health care in one of the higher priority groups is dependent on the success or failure of his claim for service-connected disability, which may or may not take the plucked from the sky nine months to decide (experience teaches that his claim will be highly expedited and given every benefit of the doubt).

          If we had about three hours we could sit down and discuss this and cover all your underlying questions, but you most likely still wouldn't understand it. Not that there's anything wrong with your understander, but that this is an incredibly complex issue that does not lend itself to short, easy answers. And yet it's ultimately pretty doggone fair from the viewpoint of this veterans' advocate who works with veterans every day. Generous, no. Fair, yes.

          I hope this helps. Probably not.

          “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 Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 05:25:46 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Geez. Well, thank you for trying. I think the only (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            DaNang65

            thing I could say is, universal health care, please. Now.

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

            by teresahill on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 06:13:23 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Universal health care would certainly solve (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Gordon20024, Actbriniel

              this immediate problem. I join with jimstaro, the diarist, in seeing this article as not being about health care at all, however, but simply another 'hit piece' on the VA.

              There's an ongoing war against the VA in the media, constantly misrepresenting facts to the VA's detriment, in service, imho, of wrapping magnetic yellow ribbon "patriotism" around a "government can't do anything right" agenda.

              While you might not follow the VA  the way js and I do you well know who that argument serves.

              “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 Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 06:22:30 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  Why this family more than any other? (9+ / 0-)

      I don't have a problem saying every family is entitled to health care. But I'm having trouble with separating out the "especially deserving because patriotism blah blah blah" from "those other families who haven't done anything quite so newsworthy, just going to work every day and carefully separating the recycling from the other trash and making cupcakes for the PTA bakesale." It's the old "deserving poor" vs "undeserving poor" moralizing that infects all discussions of the social safety net.

      If you're a child, whether you get health care shouldn't depend on how famous or outstanding your father is. If you're a spouse, it shouldn't depend on who your partner is. If you're single, it shouldn't depend on proving what an outstanding citizen you are. I don't care who you are, if you have cancer or the flu or a broken leg, you should get treated. Period.

      End of rant.  

      •  Same here (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DaNang65

        But the why probably is this writer, who dug his hole deeper, hit on the report about the SEAL who shot bin Laden and that's the perfect story to hit the VA and frankly the Administration, and as I've said a number of times, NOT mentioning that he and the rest of the country have ponied up a dime, especially when he could have found veterans and their families all over the country that are going through tough times, homeless as well, because them reagan capitalist job creators aren't creating jobs and haven't since they got them tax cuts specifically for while their congressional lackeys want more for them!!

        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 Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 02:21:13 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I'm for universal health care. Never said I wasn't (0+ / 0-)

        But I still think this man, the team who got Bin Laden, provided extraordinary service to our country. How do we say thank you for that? It looks like we don't.

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

        by teresahill on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 02:27:12 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks, Jim, (5+ / 0-)

    was waiting for the "Obama denies healthcare" diaries.

    "Fascism is attracting the dregs of humanity- people with a slovenly biography - sadists, mental freaks, traitors." - ILYA EHRENBURG

    by durrati on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 12:25:57 PM PST

    •  The Esquire piece (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      durrati, SilentBrook

      Reminds me of the tepub, 9/11, 9/11, 9/11........................, the writer found his great mark, the shooter, in his words, of bin Laden who's going through what sadly many vetes are and especially under the reagan capitalism model of them 'job creators' not creating jobs. Shoulda wrote the piece under the bush, he coulda found even more problems back then, but not the bin Laden twist!!

      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 Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 12:33:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  SEALs as pawns in game of GOP smear (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jimstaro, doroma, BachFan, SilentBrook

    What a horrible thing to do to these otherwise heroes.

    I ♥ President Barack Obama.

    by ericlewis0 on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 12:28:53 PM PST

  •  Stirring Up Controversey To Sell The Book? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jimstaro

    This kind of stuff generates publicity, gets people riled up & brings the book to the fore front.  Hmmmm......

    •  Not sure (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Gordon20024

      About a book, but this seems to be following the mold, especially coming from Esquire, or a mag like, and with the length etc., of a report that has a book written and ready for release or just finishing up and needs the marketing something like this would give it, especially to sell to a certain sector of the society as they've taken this and run with it, bashing the VA and Government instead of themselves! Diversion alla the rovian revisionist history or the FOX so called news reporting and foxbot parrots. That's the way I read it yesterday and still do, and the mags spinning has already started in trying to justify!

      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 Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 02:45:17 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I think the SEAL should be angry at the Esquire (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SilentBrook, jimstaro

    author. He made the SEAL look like a dumbass.

    SEALs aren't just people getting by, getting along to get from point A to point B. They're smart. They have to know more than the average military member. They sometimes infiltrate groups in other countries. They speak multiple languages. They have to study and learn other cultures and mannerisms. They're not successful in doing that stuff if they're stupid. They're "jacks of all trades" so they can blend in.

    This guy would know if he had any benefits coming.

    "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 Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 12:56:59 PM PST

  •  but but but.... agenda's are more important (0+ / 0-)

    than things like, oh, facts!

    i, too, was suspect when i heard of this story.

    EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

    by edrie on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 04:18:30 PM PST

  •  Why leave just 4 yrs short of retirement? (0+ / 0-)

    ...Can't a Seal who's served 16 total years in the military be given a less stressful role to finish out his time before he reaches the retirement threshold than continuing to go on missions?  Couldn't he assist in training B.U.D.S. classes, for example?

    I'm curioius exactly why he chose to leave the military so relatively close to retirement, after over 16 years in the service.

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