On second thought, the man who shot Bin Laden does have free health care, sort of

posted at 2:41 pm on February 12, 2013 by Allahpundit

Turns out, contra Esquire, he gets five years of military coverage gratis after leaving the service. It’s just for him, not for his wife or kids, and he gets no pension because he didn’t serve 20 years — no exceptions made for elite units that specialize in hyper-dangerous missions. But yes, for the moment he’s covered. Let the record stand corrected.

More from Esquire, which is clearly peeved at having a key detail of their big scoop exposed as an exaggeration:

[W]hile 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. It would be like having a 1/4 roof during a storm. Your house still fills with water. What good does it do the man if he can go to a government chiropractor for his neck when (heaven forbid) his child could get sick and wipe out the family? It is a simple fact that when your family doesn’t have healthcare, you don’t have healthcare…

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. The same VA source lamented this fact and wondered why veterans aren’t automatically enrolled, saying that “it would be a nice service for soldiers….if benefits were explained.” As for the VA benefit itself, it is fairly liberal where it sets the “service-related claims” bar, but there are vagaries about what is covered and what isn’t, what requires payment and what doesn’t, illnesses versus accidents, etc. The same VA source said that for instance, “if a veteran had other insurance and [the claim] was non-service connected,the VA would not cover it. There are also a bunch of other stipulations that come into play that affect our ability to pay or not pay.” And in the magazine’s reporting on the subject, one thing has become clear – many veterans, veteran advocates, and VA officials we spoke with did not display a well-informed grasp of the benefit.

Esquire claims that the print version of the article mentions that the Shooter is eligible for five years of coverage, but that detail was mysteriously omitted from the online version and then quietly reinserted once the controversy started bubbling last night. Since when do online versions of articles, which aren’t bound by space constraints, shorter than their print counterparts? And if the print version mentions the caveat about five years of coverage, why is this passage still included in the online version?

But the Shooter will discover soon enough that when he leaves after sixteen years in the Navy, his body filled with scar tissue, arthritis, tendonitis, eye damage, and blown disks, here is what he gets from his employer and a grateful nation:

Nothing. No pension, no health care, and no protection for himself or his family.

That’s our media: So strong is the urge to find a perfect “narrative,” even the story of a Navy SEAL shooting Osama Bin Laden in the face needed a little polishing up.

Exit question: Why did “the Shooter” hand this story to Esquire anyway instead of writing a book anonymously? Clearly he’s a man in need of money and this would set him and his family up for life. Thanks to White House leaks and “Zero Dark Thirty,” the basics of the Bin Laden raid are already common knowledge. All that’s left is to hear from the man who did the honors on the third floor of Osama’s compound.


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The direct quotes from ‘the shooter’ still vibe very hinky.

Get back to me when they feature the interview with Badgeman, the man on the grassy knoll.

It read like something Jayson Blair would write.

CorporatePiggy on February 12, 2013 at 2:45 PM

How did Esquire verify that this is the man who shot Bin Laden?

Mark1971 on February 12, 2013 at 2:47 PM

The whole idea that a warrior gets more benefits and more pay, or anyone at all for that matter, for nothing more than being married and having children just does not sit well with me.
It certainly did not help unit cohesion when a married person not only got paid more money, but was allowed to live off base, was allowed to bring a car on base, when extra duties called were allowed to leave on time every time, frequently left work early for frequent emergencies.

astonerii on February 12, 2013 at 2:47 PM

Do you know who’s getting shafted out of their military benefits?
The victims at Ft Hood.

gwelf on February 12, 2013 at 2:48 PM

Yeah?

Well, Esquire, lay the blame at gee, I don’t know…

THE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF.

But you won’t, because you love the guy and everyone at your outfit is a lefty progressive.

You KNOW if Bush were still the President, the article would have been one big fat screed directed at the evil Bush & Cheney “warmongers” who “abandoned our heroes when they come home”.

Hacks.

Opposite Day on February 12, 2013 at 2:49 PM

Why would “The Shooter” retire 4 years shy of a full pension? This was not a general enlisted, it was a Navy Seal. You can’t tell me this man was a Navy Seal for 16 years and didn’t know he had to stay in 20 to get his pension. Also, for a Navy Seal, this guy sure is talkative.

Alderene on February 12, 2013 at 2:50 PM

Hat tip to several HA commenters y’day who smelled the fish in the air..

hillsoftx on February 12, 2013 at 2:50 PM

You know, I know I am going to be vilified for this, but why does this particular Navy SEAL deserve an exception to the rules? The members of our military, by definition, put themselves in harm’s way every single day.

Do they all shoot Osama bin Laden in the face? No. But is the person who got assigned to that mission more worthy of our compassion and care than the person who is being fired at day after day on the front lines in Afghanastan? Because the killing of bin Laden has a greater PR value for us than the killing of Random Al Queada Fighter # 37, should one sailor get more favorable treatment than another?

If we want to talk about reforming the benefits system for all military members, fine. Perhaps 20 years before collecting a pension is too long a service requirement for the type of work they do. But if we’re going to have that discussion, let’s have it about everyone, not one person.

To this SEAL, whoever he may be, I thank you for your service and respect what you did for our nation. But it would be a disservice to all the men and women that you serve with and who put themselves in equally dangerous situations every single day to offer you benefits that they do not have.

Shump on February 12, 2013 at 2:50 PM

How did Esquire verify that this is the man who shot Bin Laden?

Mark1971 on February 12, 2013 at 2:47 PM

That’s the key point in this story.
I’m calling BS on the whole thing – I think someone is pulling a scam – “stolen valor” style.

dentarthurdent on February 12, 2013 at 2:51 PM

Has there been any explanation anywhere about why he is quitting instead of sticking it out a few more years to qualify for full benefits?

Exit question: Why did “the Shooter” hand this story to Esquire anyway instead of writing a book anonymously? Clearly he’s a man in need of money and this would set him and his family up for life. Thanks to White House leaks and “Zero Dark Thirty,” the basics of the Bin Laden raid are already common knowledge. All that’s left is to hear from the man who did the honors on the third floor of Osama’s compound.

Plus he has to assume al Qaeda and much of the terrorist network already has his name. They probably do. If they don’t they will get it eventually even if he remains silent.

Much of this story is “incomplete” and fishy, as per usual with such things coming from the left wing media propaganda factory outlets.

farsighted on February 12, 2013 at 2:51 PM

BTW – we hit this very heavily yesterday on the original thread.
More than a few of us think the whole story is a fraud.

dentarthurdent on February 12, 2013 at 2:52 PM

Many think the story in its entirety reeks. Can’t say that I blame them considering the source.

Bmore on February 12, 2013 at 2:52 PM

Do you know who’s getting shafted out of their military benefits?
The victims at Ft Hood.

gwelf on February 12, 2013 at 2:48 PM

They should have allowed Texas to prosecute him. He would have gotten a death sentence and be half way through his appeals by now.

Blake on February 12, 2013 at 2:53 PM

Are we sure this is in fact the REAL shooter of Bin Laden? Some ex-Seals and other veterans over at some military blogs, are still calling this story bs. I mean the Wa Po just posted an article from a satire website on Palin joining Al Jazzera.

Why would an elite Seal Team 6 member talk with some liberal rag like Esquire? I still call bs on this story.

Raquel Pinkbullet on February 12, 2013 at 2:53 PM

Shump on February 12, 2013 at 2:50 PM

Only a progressive liberal would vilify you for stating the obvious. I agree with you.

astonerii on February 12, 2013 at 2:54 PM

This is turning out to be as accurate as The Man Who Shot Liberty Vallance. Print the legend!

Mark1971 on February 12, 2013 at 2:55 PM

BTW – we hit this very heavily yesterday on the original thread.
More than a few of us think the whole story is a fraud.

dentarthurdent on February 12, 2013 at 2:52 PM

Lots of anonymous and/or second, third, and fourth hand sources I bet.

farsighted on February 12, 2013 at 2:55 PM

Why would “The Shooter” retire 4 years shy of a full pension? This was not a general enlisted, it was a Navy Seal. You can’t tell me this man was a Navy Seal for 16 years and didn’t know he had to stay in 20 to get his pension. Also, for a Navy Seal, this guy sure is talkative.

Alderene on February 12, 2013 at 2:50 PM

As a RETIRED naval officer, I think the guy who shot Bin Laden could reenlist for 4 more years to get in his “20″… WITHOUT any fanfare…

Khun Joe on February 12, 2013 at 2:55 PM

As a retired military member I find it hard to believe that the SEAL in question was not aware that leaving before the 20 year mark would result in no retirement benefits. There seems to be something missing here.

Doomsday on February 12, 2013 at 2:56 PM

It is a simple fact that when your family doesn’t have healthcare, you don’t have healthcare…

Which is why obamacare mandates family coverage.

Oh wait…

http://www.hrbenefitsalert.com/obamacare-doesnt-require-firms-to-offer-affordable-coverage-to-families/

cs89 on February 12, 2013 at 2:57 PM

It is a simple fact that when your family doesn’t have healthcare, you don’t have healthcare…

I’m not following this logic.

Because his wife and kids don’t get government-provided health care, he doesn’t get it either?

How is this a “simple fact?” Is he covered or isn’t he?

JohnTant on February 12, 2013 at 2:58 PM

Fn superficial uninformed idiocy. Tricare is SHIT medical coverage. Military retires and their dependents grimly refer to it as ‘Try to get Care’. He would fare better to just walk into any county ER, like 20 million Hispanic illegals do.

rayra on February 12, 2013 at 2:58 PM

Single service folks are put up free of charge by the military. if they have to live off base, they are payed a stipend for that, just like married folks.

Single military get their meals for free. Married folks don’t even if they eat a meal or two on duty at the chow hall. Single folks who don’t get separate rats.

Female GIs get certain consideration and bennies men don’t. Married get certain care and bennies single don’t.

As far as any preferential treatment, thats a leadership problem not the fault of policy (usually).

But things kinda even out by and large and only disgruntled folks care either way.

catmman on February 12, 2013 at 3:00 PM

The author of this article is Aaron Glantz a FAR LEFT zealot who called the war in Iraq and Afghanistan an “occupation” and our soldiers criminals. He is also aligned with another FAR left organization that has a history of featuring phony soldiers making outrageous claims called Iraq veterans against WAR.

So I am calling bs on the whole story. Either the author made the whole thing up or it’s another phony soldier (ie far left activist).

Raquel Pinkbullet on February 12, 2013 at 3:02 PM

More debunk-ery.

http://thisainthell.us/blog/?p=34124#comments

byepartisan on February 12, 2013 at 3:03 PM

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.

And neither did any of the deep digging, lets get all of the facts, lets leave-no-stone-unturned-to-get-the-Truth, research savvy “journalists” at Esquire know they existed.

What else did they miss, get wrong, etc.?

farsighted on February 12, 2013 at 3:03 PM

The author of this article is Aaron Glantz a FAR LEFT zealot who called the war in Iraq and Afghanistan an “occupation” and our soldiers criminals. He is also aligned with another FAR left organization that has a history of featuring phony soldiers making outrageous claims called Iraq veterans against WAR.

Raquel Pinkbullet on February 12, 2013 at 3:02 PM

Well, lookee there. Is it possible he has an agenda?

farsighted on February 12, 2013 at 3:05 PM

As far as Tricare goes, its hit and miss really…

If you live near a military treatment facility, AND you pay for Tricare Prime, it isn’t so bad. Its why those places which have military hospitals are really population heavy on retirees.

catmman on February 12, 2013 at 3:06 PM

Exit question: Why did “the Shooter” hand this story to Esquire anyway instead of writing a book anonymously? Clearly he’s a man in need of money and this would set him and his family up for life.

I have no idea, but a similar story can be found in Chris Kyle’s death. From what I heard on Beck, ALL his book money went to his foundation for helping returning vets. These brave men may see something wrong with making money personally for simply telling their story. The irony, of course, is if there are people who deserve to profit from telling their story, it’s these guys.

Weight of Glory on February 12, 2013 at 3:08 PM

What good does it do the man if he can go to a government chiropractor for his neck when (heaven forbid) his child could get sick and wipe out the family? It is a simple fact that when your family doesn’t have healthcare, you don’t have healthcare…

Maybe the government should step in and make affordable health care available to everyone. It would probably take a major piece of legislation to do so. We could nickname it “Obamacare.”

J.S.K. on February 12, 2013 at 3:12 PM

Black Five blog piece.

Excerpts…

Hopefully, most of you have read or at least heard about the article in Esquire yesterday about ‘The Shooter’, supposedly the SEAL that shot Bin Laden. I’m not linking it here, as you’ll see why.

We here at B5 and other places have been discussing this amongst ourselves, and among some of the operators out there. We have all come to a conclusion:

Something ain’t right, Jackson.

See, here’s this SEAL guy, who supposedly was a main character in the single most important mission of the GWOT, who took out the most wanted man on the planet, and he just ups and walks away from it, not looking to ensure he has healthcare or anything? That he has no options BEFORE he walks out?

Really? Can he be that stupid? Do people in the military with health issues really leave without any backstop?

I doubt it. More like the author, Phil Bronstein, made this thing up, or he was rolled…

farsighted on February 12, 2013 at 3:14 PM

How could the shooter of Obama Bin Laden get hooked up with someone with such a shady past as the author of this piece? Aaron Glantz is a long term far left activist who has in the past dealt in with phony soldiers in support of the group he’s aligned with IVAW (Iraq Veterans against the War.)Esquire needs to have some one do some fact checking or print a retraction.

This whole story is bs.

Raquel Pinkbullet on February 12, 2013 at 3:14 PM

Single service folks are put up free of charge by the military. if they have to live off base, they are payed a stipend for that, just like married folks.

Single military get their meals for free. Married folks don’t even if they eat a meal or two on duty at the chow hall. Single folks who don’t get separate rats.

Female GIs get certain consideration and bennies men don’t. Married get certain care and bennies single don’t.

As far as any preferential treatment, thats a leadership problem not the fault of policy (usually).

But things kinda even out by and large and only disgruntled folks care either way.

catmman on February 12, 2013 at 3:00 PM

Single people share a small room with one or more other service members that is inspected regularly, extra duties cleaning common areas… Sometimes that shared space is nothing more than one huge room with 50 cots, stacked two high. Comparing that to enough money to rent a two bedroom house off base does not even out.
Married people do get to eat free on base, sorry, but your information on this is wrong. They do not even have a register at the chow hall. Single people do not get rations if they do not eat on base.
As for preferential treatment, it is institutionalized and existed at every single one of the five duty stations I was present at.
Seems to me that you are not very well versed with the Army and Marines. Maybe the Air Force treats their men and women with much higher levels of recompense, but the Marines most certainly did not.

By the way, there were about 7 individuals who created fake marriages that were caught out for them. I wonder why someone would do that if there were no positive benefit from doing so?

astonerii on February 12, 2013 at 3:15 PM

Has there been any explanation anywhere about why he is quitting instead of sticking it out a few more years to qualify for full benefits?

farsighted on February 12, 2013 at 2:51 PM

If you slog through the article, it says that he didn’t want to re-enlist, even reserves, because as a SEAL he’d get sucked right back into SpecOps missions, like it or not. And he was worn out from that. The “quote” was something about “knowing it was time to quit when I didn’t get the adrenaline rush anymore.”

It is a bit too cute that he retires right after bagging the Big One. All the quotes about “knowing I had something important in life to do” fit so neatly into this maudlin tail of a secret hero, fated to score the greatest hit ever and then be set adrift on the seas of the hard, scary civilian world.

It may be that the whole story is true and it just worked out that way. But is it likely that he would have been unable to transition to a desk job somewhere? Like you can never leave ST6?

TexasDan on February 12, 2013 at 3:16 PM

Exit question: Why did “the Shooter” hand this story to Esquire anyway instead of writing a book anonymously? Clearly he’s a man in need of money and this would set him and his family up for life.

Because he found out that Bissell’s book was going to “revise” history on how Bin Laden was shot … and who actually shot him. Bissell’s book comes out soon – no time to write his own book so he goes to Esquire to get his version of the shooting on the public record before any of Bissell’s claims come out.

HondaV65 on February 12, 2013 at 3:17 PM

If you slog through the article, it says that he didn’t want to re-enlist, even reserves, because as a SEAL he’d get sucked right back into SpecOps missions, like it or not. And he was worn out from that. The “quote” was something about “knowing it was time to quit when I didn’t get the adrenaline rush anymore.”

It is a bit too cute that he retires right after bagging the Big One. All the quotes about “knowing I had something important in life to do” fit so neatly into this maudlin tail of a secret hero, fated to score the greatest hit ever and then be set adrift on the seas of the hard, scary civilian world.

It may be that the whole story is true and it just worked out that way. But is it likely that he would have been unable to transition to a desk job somewhere? Like you can never leave ST6?

TexasDan on February 12, 2013 at 3:16 PM

Gotta admit I started skimming it fairly quickly once the fish odor started to get strong.

That explanation doesn’t make much sense, as yourself, the folks at BlackFive, and others have pointed out.

farsighted on February 12, 2013 at 3:22 PM

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. It would be like having a 1/4 roof during a storm.

Yeah, my mind doesn’t bend like that.

Also, if he’s actually broke, his kids will be covered by some flavor of CHIP.

TexasDan on February 12, 2013 at 3:24 PM

I believe this story.

There’s a lot in it that I recognize from my days in the Navy. Now, all the assertions about the “shooter” and getting out before he was eligible for a pension …

Well you have to remember that Navy SEALS are exemplary physical specimens, and are very intelligent – but that doesn’t mean they have the “street smarts” to make good decisions about civilian life.

His wife … no doubt … handled all the bank accounts … paid all the bills … took the kids to the doctor … all the shooter did was … well, “shoot”. The married guys usually always have a wife that handles it all – so they need not worry. Single guys? Well, they usually have a “small footprint” stateside … very few bills … maybe even opting to live in the barracks.

Let’s also remember that although you and I can work in our civvie jobs to reach a goal post four years away … that may not be an option for a SEAL – who likely could be killed in that time.

HondaV65 on February 12, 2013 at 3:24 PM

“… the Center for Investigative Reporting in Berkeley, California.” ’nuff said …

Raquel Pinkbullet on February 12, 2013 at 3:25 PM

rayra on February 12, 2013 at 2:58 PM

I can only speak for myself, but for my family TRICARE PRIME has been a SPECTACULAR success. The annual family rate is only $480/year and I have never, ever had any problem with getting care relatively quickly (say within a week for routine care).

I’m getting older and the old body is starting to break down and I have needed to get multiple referrals to specialists. Not one problem. I am given the referrals no questions asked.

I was diagnosed with Kidney Cancer in 2007. December 7th to be exact. I was in surgery on 11 December. Post op I was told by a nurse handling my case that, if necessary, I could see the oncologist of my choice anywhere in the US and that TRICARE would pay for travel and lodging.

And don’t forget the free medication.

I might get some preferential treatment because I’m a retired officer, but I doubt it. I wasn’t THAT senior (LCDR). I have never, ever met anyone who wasn’t anything but happy with TRICARE PRIME (which is what retirees can get).

It might have something to do with the region. I know that out West, there was talk of reducing benefits for retirees who didn’t live within 50 miles of a military treatment facility.

One time, when I was living in Hawaii, I did get lousy care from some loser physicians. I went straight to the XO and it was handled quickly by the Ombudsman.

If you know a retiree who is getting crappy care, they need to start talking to the IG and groups like the Fleet Reserve Association or MOAA etc. Scream loud and long. They shouldn’t have to put up with that.

Again, I’m only one person, but I have only rarely, and I mean rarely, met anyone who wasn’t totally professional, ready to help and willing to fix problems. It’s not a perfect system, but it’s darn good.

NavyMustang on February 12, 2013 at 3:26 PM

The reason The Shooter hasn’t written a book is covered in the article. Of course, that’s from the man’s own mouth, not nearly as compelling as the real reasons, from those who can apparently read his mind.

What’s truly depressing is to see so many people so anxious to trash this man and doubt his motives, the state of his health, his reasons for leaving the service (note one quote, “after bagging the big one”). He served his nation for 16 years. To suggest that he did so merely waiting for a big scoop, a chance to shoot an infamous terrorist and cash in (which he, pointedly, had not done, by the way), with nothing to back it up except an apparent need to sneer, is disheartening.

IndieDogg on February 12, 2013 at 3:29 PM

Let’s also remember that although you and I can work in our civvie jobs to reach a goal post four years away … that may not be an option for a SEAL – who likely could be killed in that time.

HondaV65 on February 12, 2013 at 3:24 PM

1) As the Shooter of Obama, I believe that the gentleman could have easily xferred to a less hazardous duty station.
2) He had to know that in 4 years, as a Yoeman/Storekeeper he could have retired, WITH A PENSION.
3) IF he didn’t know I’m sure his OC or the Team Cheif would have pointed it out.
4) Not my problem, if at the end of all that counseling, he sleep thru the Exit Briefing…which as a SEAL I find extremely difficult to believe, considering their reputation for focus and acuity.

JFKY on February 12, 2013 at 3:29 PM

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.

I did 4 deployments from 2003-2010 and at each mobilization station there were VA reps that filled us in on what was available.You even had to sign the roster that proved you were in the classes.You get 5 years free and after that if you have insurance and go to the VA they bill your insurance.The only vets that get lifetime free are former POW’s as far as I know.

docflash on February 12, 2013 at 3:34 PM

Do not believe what you read until you phone up the person a thing is about and ask them for yourself. I did not believe any of this story. I cannot be sure this it the same person from Seal Team 7. I wonder what the ulterior motive is for making us want to look on a Navy seal with concern or pity…especially the pity.

Fleuries on February 12, 2013 at 3:35 PM

astonerii on February 12, 2013 at 3:15 PM

You’re right, i’m not well versed in Marine or Army policy concerning how they treat their folks. Just as you are as uninformed on how the Air Force does.

As far as per-diem and separate rats go, those polices are DoD. Of course there may be local policies instituted by command to ‘supplement’ those…

Married folks have to pay to eat on base. In the Air Force they have ALWAYS had to pay. I had to pay in 1988 at my first duty station, i had to pay in 2009 at my last. The only place I ever ate free at a chowhall as a married guy was when I was deployed. Oh, and basic training. Married folks even have to pay for box nasties. I had to pay for MRE’s while in FTX.

Twenty years ago you had to share a dorm room. Nowadays in the Air Force (perhaps in other branches you still have to share a bunk), permanent party personnel get their own rooms. They share a kitchenette and bathroom with ‘suite-mates’. As far as inspections go, in the dorm, they were conducted monthly unless there was a reason to have them more frequently. On-base married folks who live in base housing are also submitted to a housing inspection weekly or monthly depending on where stationed. granted its not of the inside, but it happens nonetheless.

As far as preferential treatment goes, it may be ‘institutionalized’ but that a leadership issue, not policy. The military takes great lengths to write its regs so as to not show a such things. Does it happen? Of course it does, just as it does in every other segment of civilian society. I never treated any of my folks that way, but thats me.

I served 22 years in the Air Force. We both just have different service experiences. no big deal.

Semper Fi

catmman on February 12, 2013 at 3:35 PM

Single people share a small room with one or more other service members that is inspected regularly, extra duties cleaning common areas… Sometimes that shared space is nothing more than one huge room with 50 cots, stacked two high. Comparing that to enough money to rent a two bedroom house off base does not even out.
Married people do get to eat free on base, sorry, but your information on this is wrong. They do not even have a register at the chow hall. Single people do not get rations if they do not eat on base.
As for preferential treatment, it is institutionalized and existed at every single one of the five duty stations I was present at.
Seems to me that you are not very well versed with the Army and Marines. Maybe the Air Force treats their men and women with much higher levels of recompense, but the Marines most certainly did not.

By the way, there were about 7 individuals who created fake marriages that were caught out for them. I wonder why someone would do that if there were no positive benefit from doing so?

astonerii on February 12, 2013 at 3:15 PM

I retired from the AF in Aug 2011. Try to answer a few things here. Nowadays if there are multi-bed bays, it usually is in training scenerios where you are sent TDY. All the single Airmen that worked for me had their own rooms-usually connected to a living area/shared kitchen. You are right, Married people do not eat free on base(due to the fact married personnel receive BAS [basic allowance for Subsistence])-they do have registers in the chow hall for the married NCOs/SNCOs who would eat w/ their troops at cetain times-I did this many times with the people that worked for me. You have to be an E-4 to be eligible to move off base (at the discretion of the Base Commander. There has to a cetain amount of single rooms occupied on base before you get the priviledge to move off base). I didn’t post anything yesterday, but this story stinks to high heaven. I know in the AF, it is MANDATORY to attend a VA briefing to learn about your benefits afforded you upon retirment/separation. In my 20 years of service, i know of only a couple of people get out so “late” in the game (just short of 20 years)usually a very good job lined up. I always say, if you go past 10 years you might as well stay to 20-you are just giving money back to the government if you get out early.

Static21 on February 12, 2013 at 3:37 PM

Shouldn’t this be a big “So what?”

I served eight years. When I left I got a job that offered insurance.

I have a friend that served 18 years and then separated when he got frustrated with military politics. He found a job and got insurance. He’s not whining about it.

Any other veterans that feel the same way?

shick on February 12, 2013 at 3:44 PM

I am shocked, shocked that Esquire’s story seems to be falling apart like a cheap pair of shoes.

I mean, who could have possibly seen this coming?

Something about this story doesn’t smell right.

Hayabusa on February 11, 2013 at 1:06 PM

Hayabusa on February 12, 2013 at 3:46 PM

I know in the AF, it is MANDATORY to attend a VA briefing to learn about your benefits afforded you upon retirment/separation. In my 20 years of service, i know of only a couple of people get out so “late” in the game (just short of 20 years)usually a very good job lined up. I always say, if you go past 10 years you might as well stay to 20-you are just giving money back to the government if you get out early.

Static21 on February 12, 2013 at 3:37 PM

Yep.

I know of only a few who got out after 10 who didn’t go to 20. A lot of those were in 93/94 during the Clinton drawdowns and they got a ‘separation bonus’ (paid to get out to meet end-strength goals).

Back in the day you had to be an E4/E5 to move on base if you were married and if you were single, even an NCO you had to live in the dorm. But that was a looooong time ago… Never understood that policy: the youngest, most financially strapped troops had to live on the economy while those who could more easily afford it were forced to live on base. Smh…

catmman on February 12, 2013 at 3:49 PM

You know, I know I am going to be vilified for this, but why does this particular Navy SEAL deserve an exception to the rules?

Shump on February 12, 2013 at 2:50 PM

Not by me.

shick on February 12, 2013 at 3:52 PM

I served 22 years in the Air Force. We both just have different service experiences. no big deal.

Semper Fi

catmman on February 12, 2013 at 3:35 PM

Yeah, Marines was way different.

76 trailer PMs, all on me, over the weekend, because the “married” guy first, failed to do them per schedule, then ignored instructions to do them the week before, and then it was verboten to imagine having a married guy work on the weekend. Inspection on Monday, he gets the credit for having his job done, perfectly. 16 hours each day, Saturday and Sunday, doing someone else’ job who was getting direct payments far higher than I was getting tends to piss a person off. That was the worst instance of the special privilege marrieds got. I certainly enjoyed wartime though, outside of the extra pay they got, at least then we were finally treated equal.

I got out in 92, I hear they made it a kinder gentler Marine Corps since then, so perhaps it has improved. I planned to be career.

astonerii on February 12, 2013 at 3:53 PM

Has there been any explanation anywhere about why he is quitting instead of sticking it out a few more years to qualify for full benefits?

farsighted on February 12, 2013 at 2:51 PM

Every veteran has there own reasons for separating that close to the 20 year mark.

I was thinking, if he got tired of the action or if that event was to much for him (not saying anything is wrong with that) how hard would it be for a Seal to line up a new job doing anything else he wanted? Then it hit me, the military invested a lot in his training and might not allow him to do anything else.

I don’t know that much about the assignment process to lean strongly on this idea.

shick on February 12, 2013 at 3:59 PM

Then it hit me, the military invested a lot in his training and might not allow him to do anything else.

I don’t know that much about the assignment process to lean strongly on this idea.

I see highly trained VOLUNTEERS, on dangerous missions are told they cannot leave the SEALS? Prior to arriving in the SEALS all they ahd to do was “Ring the bell” to go home, but that changes once in the Teams? I think not….

Let’s just put it this way, you are deep in enemy territory and you know the guy next to you does NOT want to be there…Question: does this increase/decrease your confidence in mission success?

There might be rules or taboos about quitting ON DEPLOYMENT, or during Pre-Deployment Training, but after the deployment? I doubt it.

JFKY on February 12, 2013 at 4:04 PM

I was thinking, if he got tired of the action or if that event was to much for him (not saying anything is wrong with that) how hard would it be for a Seal to line up a new job doing anything else he wanted? Then it hit me, the military invested a lot in his training and might not allow him to do anything else.

I don’t know that much about the assignment process to lean strongly on this idea.

shick on February 12, 2013 at 3:59 PM

I’m having trouble believing he couldn’t have spent his remaining three plus years training new SEALs and/or other SF operators in some way, doing a lot of good well out of harm’s way.

Too much of this story makes too little sense.

farsighted on February 12, 2013 at 4:08 PM

I see highly trained VOLUNTEERS, on dangerous missions are told they cannot leave the SEALS? Prior to arriving in the SEALS all they ahd to do was “Ring the bell” to go home, but that changes once in the Teams? I think not….

Let’s just put it this way, you are deep in enemy territory and you know the guy next to you does NOT want to be there…Question: does this increase/decrease your confidence in mission success?

There might be rules or taboos about quitting ON DEPLOYMENT, or during Pre-Deployment Training, but after the deployment? I doubt it.

JFKY on February 12, 2013 at 4:04 PM

Well, on the enlisted side, for the AF, you sign up for a certain term of enlistment-usually 4 yrs at a time. If you are deployed, you are usually in a “block” of enlistment and can’t quit. If it is pre-deployment, you have to get the necessary time to cover the deployment you are going on or you don’t go. And, at that point you usually aren’t allowed to re-enlist due to you turning down a deployment.

Static21 on February 12, 2013 at 4:13 PM

If you are deployed, you are usually in a “block” of enlistment and can’t quit. If it is pre-deployment, you have to get the necessary time to cover the deployment you are going on or you don’t go. And, at that point you usually aren’t allowed to re-enlist due to you turning down a deployment.

No insult, but wrench turning in the USAF is a bit different from SEALS, too…I agree you’ve signed a contract and you owe the time, BUT…whilst the USAF can make you miserable enough to make you WISH you had deployed to Backassistan….Can the USN really make you miserable enough to make you deploy into the mountains of Af-Pak to hunt bad guys?

Isn’t it more likely we simply xsfer you to a storeskeeper position or whatever your “rate”, IIRC, was prior to becoming a SEAL?

And this is, supposedly, AFTER the big mission…so I find it extremely difficult to believe that this guy said to his OC, “I can’t do this any more, I feel like my luck bank account has run dry” and his OC said, “GTFO of the Navy!”

I’m with the growing chorus, this doesn’t sound right….I’ve known one person who got out after 16 years & I couldn’t believe that.

JFKY on February 12, 2013 at 4:22 PM

Married folks have to pay to eat on base. In the Air Force they have ALWAYS had to pay.

catmman on February 12, 2013 at 3:35 PM

That is because they receive BAS – Basic Allowance for Subsistence. (It’s labeled differently now and is rolled up with other elements now, I believe.)

GWB on February 12, 2013 at 4:23 PM

Static21 on February 12, 2013 at 4:13 PM

Exactly right. If you’re deploying, you have enough remaining enlistment time to complete the deployment. One thing to note, though – some SpecOps ‘deployments’ are pretty durn short. They go over, do the job, and go home. MOST of them do deploy for normal time periods, but SpecOps can be, well, ‘special’. But you still don’t deploy for even a 6-day TDY if you don’t have at least a couple of weeks left in your enlistment.

JFKY on February 12, 2013 at 4:22 PM

As far as pitching him out, if someone refused a deployment because he didn’t want to re-enlist, the military has sometimes been *very* quick to put folks in charge of the latrines at home and let them bide their time until they are out. (I don’t think we’re arguing opposite sides, btw – I’m just adding info.)

GWB on February 12, 2013 at 4:32 PM

GWB on February 12, 2013 at 4:23 PM

Yeah, I know. Was explaining it to astoneril. :)

catmman on February 12, 2013 at 4:32 PM

I know in the AF, it is MANDATORY to attend a VA briefing to learn about your benefits afforded you upon retirment/separation. In my 20 years of service, i know of only a couple of people get out so “late” in the game (just short of 20 years)usually a very good job lined up. I always say, if you go past 10 years you might as well stay to 20-you are just giving money back to the government if you get out early.

Static21 on February 12, 2013 at 3:37 PM

More than just the AF. Since 2006, I’ve been a DoD contractor industry employer panel volunteer at a lot of Transition Assistance Program (TAP) seminars at Fort Carson, Peterson AFB, Schreiver AFB, and USAF Academy. Everyone separating or retiring from the military has to attend one of these 3 day seminars to learn about VA benefits, GI Bill, how to write a resume, how to search for jobs, how to interview, et, etc. Nobody, especially someone with 16 years in, gets out of the military without knowing everything about their options and benefits.

Along with Hayabusa and several others, I called BS on the whole story in the other thread yesterday, and I still stand by that.
I believe we will eventually find out this is the work of a stolen valor type scam artist, or the liberal no-integrity reporter made up the whole thing.

dentarthurdent on February 12, 2013 at 4:34 PM

I see highly trained VOLUNTEERS, on dangerous missions are told they cannot leave the SEALS? Prior to arriving in the SEALS all they ahd to do was “Ring the bell” to go home, but that changes once in the Teams? I think not….

Let’s just put it this way, you are deep in enemy territory and you know the guy next to you does NOT want to be there…Question: does this increase/decrease your confidence in mission success?

There might be rules or taboos about quitting ON DEPLOYMENT, or during Pre-Deployment Training, but after the deployment? I doubt it.

JFKY on February 12, 2013 at 4:04 PM

That makes sense and demonstrates my ignorance on the matter. My comment wasn’t to boast in my understanding but to confirm if my understanding was correct.

Thank you.

shick on February 12, 2013 at 4:40 PM

“The Shooter” = “Julia”

A composite of all the disgruntled ex-GIs who didn’t pay attention at their separation briefings.

Mitoch55 on February 12, 2013 at 4:43 PM

The whole story is BS.

paulsur on February 12, 2013 at 4:51 PM

dentarthurdent on February 12, 2013 at 4:34PM

Exactly right! I didnt know if the other services called it the same thing

No insult, but wrench turning in the USAF is a bit different from SEALS, too

Agreed, AF “wrench turning” is different from being a SEAL, but not everyone in the AF is a wrench turner. We do have jobs in the SO arena; Combat Controllers, TACPs, PJs…my job entailed being embedded w/ the SOF guys. They are my heroes! This guy’s story just doesn’t seem right…

Static21 on February 12, 2013 at 4:53 PM

Raquel Pinkbullet on February 12, 2013 at 3:02 PM

The author of the Esquire piece“The Man Who Killed Osama bin Laden… Is Screwed” — was Phil Bronstein, NOT Aaron Glanz as you have now claimed at least twice on this thread.

Bronstein’s piece, which was also posted on the CIRonline website under the name, “The Shooter” was referred to and linked in by Aaron Glanz in the subsequent piece he published on that same Center for Investigative Reporting website, here.

I would agree that there may be are several things about the Bronstein piece that deserve very close scrutiny.

But falsely claiming that it was written by someone else is obviously not one of them!

Trochilus on February 12, 2013 at 5:06 PM

This whole storyline has been BS from the beginning. Our celebrated warrior is not entitled to any more than the average vet. With his whining I’m seriously doubting his claim to be “The Shooter” in the first place.

He knew full well what he was entitled to, and what he wasn’t when he signed his discharge papers. Instead of patting himself on the back, he should have paid attention to what they were telling him. Everyone discharging is required to attend (Transition Assistance Program (TAP) where they explain every detail of their benefits. Upon discharge, no family medical is first. He had the option of staying on in a limited support capacity while waiting for the VA to review his case. Or transfer to the reserves for another 2-3 years to retirement. In either case, his family would still be covered if he was the least bit concerned for them. He knew he wasn’t eligible for any type of pension (or transfer to IRR) short of 20 years.

The whining to the media doesn’t display a SEAL character trait, so he’s no more “The Shooter” than I am. He knows full well also that no one will dispute his claim because they’ll never identify the real shooter. He wants protection for himself and his family, but he takes his false complaint to the media? Please.

I suggest he go wallow in his despair, and stop trolling for sympathy. You’ve got nothing, and you knew it all along. LOSER!

stacman on February 12, 2013 at 5:11 PM

No insult, but wrench turning in the USAF is a bit different from SEALS, too…
JFKY on February 12, 2013 at 4:22 PM

Yes it is – and that’s why they get extra pay and bonuses for what they do. But being a SEAL is a volunteer assignment that you have to really really want or you will never get through the training. I know I never could have made it – I was an Air Force orbital analyst in Cheyenne Mountain for my 4 years – so I have huge respect for those guys.
“A man’s got to know his limitations.” Dirty Harry)

But that’s also why I think this story is a fake. I believe real SEALs are far above whining and crying about “poor little me” like what’s going on in this story. A real SEAL would know exactly what he’s doing, what his options are, and have no trouble finding a job in the civilian world.

dentarthurdent on February 12, 2013 at 5:18 PM

As a retired Navy Chief, I call BS on the whole article. Every single person who separates or retires from Active Duty (less Reservists on active duty recall for less than 180 days) are required to attend the TAPS class (now called GPS) or sit with their command career counselor and fill out a DD form 2648, period. You cant separate without that form being completed unless you are being medically retired TDRL or PDRL or have gotten an OTH.

Google the form and read what is covered on it, every single thing you can even imagine is on that form, from VA health care to the continued health benefits option. This sailor read and signed that form before he got his DD 214. Now maybe he just signed the thing and didnt read it, but that is not the Military’s fault. I do this all day every day as a civilian now, and no one (less Admin discharges or incapacitated members) gets their 214 without me having that signed and witnessed form in their retain file.

Johnnyreb on February 12, 2013 at 5:30 PM

If you slog through the article, it says that he didn’t want to re-enlist, even reserves, because as a SEAL he’d get sucked right back into SpecOps missions, like it or not. And he was worn out from that. The “quote” was something about “knowing it was time to quit when I didn’t get the adrenaline rush anymore.”

TexasDan on February 12, 2013 at 3:16 PM

Doesn’t that seem like the plot of some Hollywood movie where a “former” operator or agent gets sucked back into doing one more mission/assignment? Certainly it might be something that one would put forward as a reason WHY one didn’t just stick it out for 4 more years or seek a transfer or just try to get reassigned to maybe some less stressful assignment like training or security.

Russ808 on February 12, 2013 at 6:05 PM

I’m suspicious.
Just the way “Shooter” describes things sounds more like a leftist wanabe poet than a soldier. Shooting OBL might be “the best thing or the worst thing I’ve ever done”?

Count to 10 on February 12, 2013 at 6:17 PM

I know that many commenters here are suspicious of the whole story. Not me, although I think it was very dangerous and foolish to put that detailed story of the killing of UBL out there.

These Islamist jihadis see themselves by definition as blood lust and revenge warriors. In my opinion, I think that Bronstein may have made himself a target for some jihadis looking for information leading them to UBL’s killer. I think he was a damned fool for writing this.

But even if we accept the Shooter’s account (and Bronstein’s recounting of it) for the sake of discussion, the timing of this Esquire article is also inherently suspect in my book.

In a comment I posted on the other thread of the story, I noted that, in addition to what was a gripping first-hand account of the shooting of UBL, Bronstein’s primary focus was to be very critical of the U.S. government’s response to the Shooter in terms of financial (and physical) security when he decided to retire early. It was also quite clear from statements made by Bronstein in the article, that the interviews he held with the Shooter were conducted back in May of 2012, up until September.

So, why was publication held until now? In other words, did Esquire hold this until after the election? And even if they did so in order to protect the Obama Administration from criticism until after he was reelected, why did it take until nearly mid-February to publish this?

Is an attempted reworking of military retirement benefits in the offing by the Obama Administration? Plainly, he needs support from the military. So why not offer a carrot to one group of Americans who inherently dislike his ilk? And, he very desperately needs to raise taxes — again. So why not offer a more generous military retirement package at the SOTU and demand an increase in taxes from Congress, in part, to help pay for it?

Does anyone else sense that the timing of this may have a whole lot to do with the sequestration debate?

Trochilus on February 12, 2013 at 6:29 PM

Doesn’t that seem like the plot of some Hollywood movie where a “former” operator or agent gets sucked back into doing one more mission/assignment

Russ808 on February 12, 2013 at 6:05 PM

Like this one, coincidentally entitled… Shooter.

IIRC a Dick Cheney lookalike was the bad guy.

Or maybe I’m thinking of one of the other dozen or more movies where a Dick Cheney lookalike recruits ex-SF guys to help in his deep dark nefarious scheme to do bad deeds and/or take over the US government.

farsighted on February 12, 2013 at 7:10 PM

A correction: no one gets free health care.

Some get health care that’s paid for by others. Not the same thing.

J Baustian on February 13, 2013 at 12:38 PM