The Navy SEAL who shot Osama Bin Laden now says the military abandoned him after the raid was over, telling a popular men’s magazine about the sad state of veterans’ support in the US.
The SEAL who shot Bin Laden (referred to in a recent Esquire piece only as “The Shooter”) became an integral part of a large chapter in America’s history that began with the bombing of the USS Cole and cemented on September 11, firing the fatal shots that killed the man whose Al Qaeda organization claimed responsibility for the largest attacks on American soil.
But, the SEAL says, returning home (particular as an anonymous entity) has not been an easy experience — and he explains the frustrations facing many vets as they struggle to integrate upon their return from tours sometimes totaling several years.
Even aside from job placement and the work of transitioning military skills to a civilian world, “The Shooter” says that even basic veterans’ services like Tricare were withdrawn from his family as soon as he got back.
To put this in perspective as is plainly obvious, America spent untold trillions of dollars in the hunt for Osama Bin Laden, and countless American lives were lost in this pursuit. Then the guy who pulled it off was sent home … to, in the best case scenario, drive a beer truck.
To Esquire, the shooter says:
“[SEAL command] told me they could get me a job driving a beer truck in Milwaukee … my health care for me and my family stopped. I asked if there was some transition from my Tricare to Blue Cross Blue Shield. They said no. You’re out of the service, your coverage is over. Thanks for your 16 years. Go f*** yourself.”
The SEAL who shot Bin Laden also gives a detailed first person account not only of that fateful day, but of how it felt to be the man who took out the infamous terror leader. He says:
“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. He was dead. I watched him take his last breaths. 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?”
The shooter adds:
“I’m not religious … But I always felt I was put on the earth to do something specific. After that mission, I knew what it was.”
Esquire‘s interview with the SEAL who shot Bin Laden appears in the March issue of the mag.