The SEAL Team 6 member who killed Osama bin Laden is facing an uncertain future after leaving the service and receiving a “go fuck yourself” from the government, an Esquire article about the unnamed hero reveals.
“I left SEALs on Friday,” the unnamed SEAL told author Phil Bronstein last September. He exited a little over three years short of the 20-year retirement requirement. “My health care for me and my family stopped at midnight Friday night.”
“I asked if there was some transition from my Tricare to Blue Cross Blue Shield. They said no,” the SEAL told Bronstein, executive chairman of the Center for Investigative Reporting. “You’re out of the service, your coverage is over. Thanks for your sixteen years. Go fuck yourself.”
Bronstein reports that after leaving the service and killing the nation’s most wanted man the SEAL is left with “nothing. No pension, no health care, and no protection for himself or his family.”
The report details the raid and some of its ironies: politicians and film stars have profited both monetarily and politically, but given the secrecy of the mission, the SEAL cannot even use his greatest accomplishment to get another job.
“He’s taken monumental risks,” his dad told Bronstein. “But he’s unable to reap any reward.”
Without a stable income, the shooter told Bronstein — between details of the harrowing kill mission — he still has bills and remains concerned about the safety of his family.
“I just want to be able to pay all those bills, take care of my kids, and work from there,” he is quoted as saying. “I’d like to take the things I learned and help other people in any way I can.”
Bronstein goes in depth into the raid with the SEAL with details such as what he was thinking as he was flown into the compound. “Instead of counting, for some reason I said to myself the George Bush 9/11 quote: Freedom itself was attacked this morning by a faceless coward, and freedom will be defended. I could just hear his voice, and that was neat. I started saying it again and again to myself. Then I started to get pumped up. I’m like: This is so on.”
He said he gave the female CIA analyst who whose intelligence work lead them to bin Laden the remaining magazine from his rifle.
And he recalled what Osama looked like after he was shot.
“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,” the SEAL recalled. “Everybody wanted him dead, but nobody wanted to say, Hey, you’re going to kill this guy. It was just sort of understood that’s what we wanted to do. His forehead was gruesome. It was split open in the shape of a V. I could see his brains spilling out over his face. The American public doesn’t want to know what that looks like.”
Bronstein’s “The Man Who Killed Osama bin Laden… Is Screwed” is in March’s Esquire.