Navy SEAL Shot Osama bin Laden But Doesn't Have a Thing to Show for It

Say What!? 19

Osama bin LadenWith a movie about the killing of Osama Bin Laden up for an Oscar, it may feel like the death of a terrorist has turned from an American triumph into an American money-making scheme. Except for this: the member of SEAL Team 6 known to the world only as the "Shooter" for taking the kill shot that downed the world's most wanted terrorist has come out now to tell his side of the story. The Shooter is broke.

He doesn't have a military pension. He can't get a job. He doesn't even get government health insurance.

This is the life of an American hero. So how could this happen?

According to an explosive Esquire interview with the man referred to only as the Shooter to protect himself, his wife, and his two kids, the Navy SEAL responsible for putting a bullet in Osama bin Laden's head left the military 36 months shy of getting his pension. It was an honorable discharge, but it was early all the same.

Ah. That explains it. Or does it?

This is a man who risked death to take out America's enemy number one. And today Americans are asking the same question: isn't he due some sort of thank-you?

The answer isn't clear cut. Hundreds of thousands of men and women have risked their lives for America, and they are subject to the same military rules about pensions and health benefits as the Shooter. Prioritizing one man over another would hardly be fair. All who serve are to be valued, period.

And yet, none of them should be in the position the Shooter is in today. None should be struggling to pay expensive health insurance bills, wondering how to find a job, fearing for the live of their families (because despite their high profile assignment, no protection is offered to them).

What makes the Shooter's plight something to talk about today is not what in particular he did while in the military at all. It's the question it poses for all members of the armed forces and for the government that employs them.

The United States takes control of these people's lives for a certain period of time, and at the end, this country cannot simply cut them loose. Be it an elite operative of a Navy SEAL Team involved in one of the most important battles against terrorism of our times or private first class who never left American soil, they answer the call to serve.

The least we can do for their service is help them land safely on the other side.

What do you think should be done for the Shooter? What about other retired members of our military?


Image via FBI

military, terrorism


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ms_da... ms_danielle_j

Our veterans put so much on the line for this damn country and they do them so wrong when they return. Not only do they put themselves on the line but their families pay the price as well. We need to pay better recognition to our vets.

Autum... Autumnleaves87

Well thank god he isn't becoming one of the "47 percent" who are lazy and dependent on government for everything!! That would be the worst!!!


...Actually I think its a very sad situation that our vets come home and have to deal with this. The families and troops make such a sacrifice. What this guy did was amazing.

douxm... douxmusique

Hmmmm hard line. Why would he get out just shy of retirement without a plan? Lots of weird questions to ask here....

Albond86 Albond86

If he wasn't able to re-enlist to the navy for the remainder of time until his retirement then the navy has its reasons not to allow him to do so! If he choose not to stay in until his 20 years then that's on him! Just because he put a bullet into the most wanted terrorist doesn't mean he should automatically get a pension! He didn't serve his time to earn that pension. And now he's breaking out and speaking to the press? Sounds fishy and doesn't sound like he truly was the shooter IMHO!

lobus lobus


tbruc... tbrucemom

Being the ex-wife of  Marine and Marine mom, I am probably more supportive of the military than most people. However, either this man chose not to stay another 3 years to get his penson or for some reason the navy felt he was unfit for reenlistment. Being unfit doesn't mean not"in good shape physically" even though that's a requirement to a certain degree. There are many reasons why he might not be eligible.  If he was hurt in the line of duty, he would be getting disability for his medical and a percentage of his pay. Through the GI Bill, the government will pay you to go back to school.  Actually pay you to go plus your tuition, my son is doing this right now. He also collects a small monthly amount due to a service related injury.  When he goes to the VA for treatment, it is top notich. Now he has to wait all day but it's free and the care like I said is good.  He has been treated extremely well and he was only in for 2 1/2 years. Something sounds fishy about his story.

Sierr... SierraLynn

He knew the rules. The military offers pensions and healthcare for service members who complete 20 or more years of service. He got out at 15. He was given options and didn't take them.

He did what he was told and completed his mission. Many, many other service members do the same thing every single day and choose to get out before their 20 years and they don't get pensions and healthcare. And they don't bitch about either.

He got out without a plan. That's on him. He does not.deserve any special treatment.


Something's rotten in the land of Denmark. Something doesn't smell right with this. Did Esquire do any digging on his background?

usmcl... usmclife58

"The Shooter" deserves nothing more than anyone else in the military serving. He did his job, that doesn't mean he deserves a cookie.

nonmember avatar SeveredCliche

Can you people not read? It said "Honorable discharge". That doesn't necessarily mean he volunteered to get out. In fact, quite the opposite. Did any of you actually READ the original article? "his body filled with scar tissue, arthritis, tendonitis, eye damage, and blown disks"
And his wife and children have had to learn emergency precautions in case of a retaliation attack. To make matters worse, they're considering taking everything out of his name, changing their names, the kids' names, and moving the wife and kids out of the family home so that they are safe. But no, you're right, he chose this.
It's people like you who are the reason that there are so many poor men on the streets holding signs that say "Veteran, please help"...
Tbrucemom, you of all people should know what an honorable discharge is, if your husband AND child were both in the Marines. My husband has only been serving for 7 months, and even I knew that.

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