For more than a decade, there was a $25 – $50 million bounty on the ragged head of Osama bin-Laden

026753336_senateputobl_mn_xlargeNow, the Navy SEAL who killed bin Laden is left in poverty with no pension, no healthcare or protection. The man left SEAL Team Six in September. His family’s healthcare coverage ceased and because he retired before the 20-year mark, he gets no pension. Asked why he left early, he said, “I wanted to see my children graduate and get married.”

Esquire  (h/t Richard S) magazine is the first to publish the account of the U.S. Navy SEAL who fired the three rounds into the world’s most wanted man on May 2, 2011. They call him The Shooter.


The magazine, owned by the parent company of this newspaper, and the author, former San Francisco Chronicle editor Phil Bronstein, tell a darker side to the story of the killing of Bin Laden. But it is not one that you would expect: The Shooter’s life after leaving the Navy, or as he puts it, “thanks for your sixteen years. Go f— yourself.”

According to Bronstein’s account, the Navy SEAL left the service 36 months before the minimum 20 years needed for retirement, leaving him with no pension or health care. Bronstein outlines the toll it has taken on the Shooter’s family, his wife especially who worries about their situation:


Exactly what, if any, responsibility should the government have to her family?

The loss of income and insurance and no pension aside, she can no longer walk onto the local base if she feels a threat to her family. They’ve surrendered their military IDs. If something were to happen, the Shooter has instructed her to take the kids to the base gate anyway and demand to see the commanding officer, or someone from the SEAL team. “He said someone will come get us.”

Because of the mission, she says that “my family is always going to be at risk. It’s just a matter of finding coping strategies.”

The Shooter still dips his hand in his pocket when they’re in a store, checking for a knife in case there’s an emergency. He also keeps his eyes on the exits.

He’s lost some vision, he can’t get his neck straight for any period of time. Right now, she’s just waiting to see what he creates for himself in this new life.

And she’s waiting to see how he replaces even the $60,000 a year he was making (with special pay bonuses for different activities). Or how they can afford private health insurance that covers spinal injections she needs for her own sports injuries.

“This is new to us, not having the team.”

Read the full Esquire piece here.

Local fundraiser set up for man who killed bin Laden

FOX News Nearly two years later, the SEAL Team Six member is a secret celebrity with nothing to show for the deed; no job, no pension, no recognition outside a small circle of colleagues.

A local fundraising site has been set up to provide the former SEAL with some retirement money. To go to that fundraising site, click here.


23 comments on “For more than a decade, there was a $25 – $50 million bounty on the ragged head of Osama bin-Laden

  1. imalittlekitty, I agree – the Civil War was one of the worst wars during the last two hundred years. Both men and women in different ways had to fight for survival during the war and for the rest of their life thereafter. It was a lot tougher in those days. And no kind medical support as we know it- gruesome in fact. And yes those young men that start young can do well after 20 years with pension. Give my best wishes to your father.

  2. imalittlekitty,

    Excellent- well said. Thank you for that valuable insight. You have increased my understanding of American dedication. And yes I have met Australians that handled WWII and Vietnam well and built quality lives thereafter; whilst others degenerated; it seems is all about mindset- positive or negative; strong willed or weak in faith outside traditional experience. It is sad when some fail to adjust; and then I feel inspired by Nancy Wake Australian French Resistance Fighter in WWII she lost the man she loved in the war and had to build a new life and was successful. I think of ‘Tin Legs’ Bader British flyer that crashed in Europe and still gave the Nazis trouble as a prisoner of war. So much so they took his legs away from him. And I am inspired by the courage of John F. Kennedy during WWII later to become President of the United States. I am also inspired by my wife’s Grandfather died at 98 years- a good life. He fought in WWI at Gallipoli and survived by a miracle to fight again in WWII and became a prisoner in Changi one of the worst hellhole Japanese prison camps in WWII in which many perished. He never ever let his family waste food.

    • Hi Allan – thanks for your comments. I had lunch with my Dad today, and we were talking about this very thing. We talked about what the war vets from the Civil War likely went through. Think about it – those guys had it WAY worse than anyone since. Conditions were deplorable. Warfare was much different than it is today. And when they got wounded, YIKES! Amputations of arms and legs were done without anesthetic, in a field “hospital”, if you could even call it that. Can you imagine someone cutting your arm off after telling you, “just bite down on this piece of wood.” Can you imagine the stench of amputated limbs and dead bodies piled up, rotting in the heat of summer? There were no sanitary conditions, and so many guys died terrible deaths, of terrible infections. You can bet those warriors had serious PTSD, but there was no one to help them. They sucked it up and went on. And the lives they went back to were WAY harder than our lives are today.

      So, while I VERY MUCH appreciate what our military men and women do for us – protect our liberty – when they come back to civilian life, they aren’t any different than anyone else. They have to make lives for themselves, and if they don’t, well then, that is the decision they have chosen.

      My husband talks about the fact that military life offers something really good to those who will plan properly and make it work for them – go in at 18-20, do your 20 years, come out with a pension at 38-40, and still have 25-30 years to build another career, while collecting a pension.

  3. Ret. Marine,

    Thank you for your response, I understand your answers and you are correct I have never been in the armed forces which is why I asked the question. I have no doubt that contract rules exist for years of service which defines whether a person is entitled to a pension or not and you have clarified that reality. Questions help people that don’t have experience in a particular field of expertise increase their understanding. And if we do not understand each other we are seriously handicapped and will never learn to think adequately outside the square. The reason for my question was not about what exists as ‘Contract Policy’ but rather what should exist. I may be wrong but it struck me as being unfair that a military person that has risked their life constantly in combat for Country should be denied a pension simply because they chose with good reasons to retire before their 20th year of service. Hence I wondered if there should be two contract standards a shorter service period for combat veterans as opposed to the 20 years timeframe for non-combat personnel. I would think if a person has been risking their life for ten to fifteen years in combat that fact would justify a pension at an earlier age of retirement. If so what is a fair time frame to qualify for a pension? And only combat veterans can answer this question.

  4. The anonymous Navy SEAL should get a share of the $50 million dollar bounty for killing the reghead bastard who terrorized theworld for over 15 years!

  5. perceptor1, Well said and an excellent point… “He needed better help with his exit interview. The military system needs to give people more help planning their release.”

    I have a question to all military persons, active and retired… at what length of service do you believe a person should qualify for a pension after military service? Should a combat veteran that risked his life in battle be entitled to a shorter period than say a person in the military that never fought in combat?

    • I will take a stab at that question being as I put thirty two and a half years of active duty to God, Country and Community. The short answer is NO. These days and times exceed the intentions of a voluntary Service, meaning, it matters not if combat action and the ribbon to prove it, it established. It only matters that they served with destinction, and were honorably discharged from said duty. The requirement to Ret. from active duty is set much as it is for citizens beneifts, being that most citizens acting in the capacity of years under the belt is established and in accordence to the Company poilicies and grubmint GS-ratings as perscribed in law, or not. Why do you think it possible for any distinction of “combat” experience vrs. “non Comba”t role would make any difference whatsoever. I am almost sure you were never in the Armed Forces, nor a DOD, IRS, FBI, or such ratings of Gov. personnal, if you were you would have already understood this distinction to be, of no affect at all. ” at what lenght of service do you believe a person should qualify for a pension” , that is dictated through contract agreement, by We the People and said representative of individual State, through the Veterans Administration guidelines, it doesn’t matter, for example, even if a military persons were injured in a forward operations capacity, or non-combatant status, they are insured benefits as a result of injuries serious enough to warrent dependency of the People, it is a contract between We the People, our Gov. guidlines and ratings of seriousness of injury while on active duty. I hope that aquares it up for you.

  6. This brave man is right about the typical approach of the military once you retire:

    “thanks for your ‘xyz’ years. Go f— yourself.”

    He needed better help with his exit interview. The military system needs to give people more help planning their release.

    This was a particularly stressful assignment for this man and it’s no wonder he needed to get out. God bless him as he struggles to go ahead.

  7. Rush Limbaugh has stated that the Esquire story is incorrect and after 5 years of service that the shooter has coverage.

  8. I winced when I read this. Yes, of course, the whole nation should pitch in and help him out for his service and for his naiveté. Was he so totally ignorant of how miserably the service treats the enlisted men? They go by rules and he broke the rules. He could have inquired before quitting. Is the nation’s safety reliant on men who are so dumb? Well, perhaps so. The nation was dumb enough to vote in its biggest enemy in history.

  9. I am ex-military too. Only 3 years, but my brother did 24 in the Air Force. Kelly Kaffir is right. He was not the smartest for quitting 3 years early. I realize that being a SEAL is brutal, but he volunteered for it. He knew what he was getting into. He could have kept his mouth shut about any involvement in the shooting and simply said Biden was mistaken. He could have switched out of the SEAL on gone on to other type of naval duty I would imagine. He really should have thought this through.
    I wonder if a 401K type retirement might not be better for military people. That way, you get something no matter how long you are in and it travels with you.

  10. I think that the members and families of st6 should be watched closely. It’s only a matter of time before Muslim vengeance rears its head.
    As for this person, it is clear he is being punished for killing OBL.

  11. We have a former Navy Seal Comander a Republican State Senater , We did form a super pak to fight obamas second run , I will contact him to see if there is a little more we can do to make this Hero ‘s life a little better. Piss on obama we don’t need him for anything

  12. Not completely true. He can still get VA care for any service connected disability. There is a special division that handles claims from the SEALs and SF and other classified operations.

    I’m not sure what the VA can do for his family and quitting 36 months before retirement is just DUMB. He could have gutted it out for 36 more months. And before anyone starts attacking me for that statement, I gutted out the last couple of years of my 20 even after the military killed my daughter and almost killed me with the political games they played with my healthcare. Long story but I was very ill and have to be on meds for the rest of my life. Damn straight I’m gonna make them pay. Not to mention the friendly fire I took.

    He and his family will always be in danger – especially with this stupid administration and that ass hat Biden not being able to keep his trap shut…

    • KK, for that last point alone, he should get some kind of compensation.

      Look at all the money the Obama Regime is saving on the salaries he doesn’t have to pay for all those SEALS who died when that old, slow helicopter in Afghanistan packed with Navy SEALS ‘mysteriously’ was shot down.

    • I am truely sorry to hear of your loss Kelly Kafir , I know what the loss of a daughter yeilds for the rest of our time and what could have been ! Thank You for your Bravery and Courage . Know that this clumsy former Marine will bite his tounge the next time he runs across a Warrior of the other varierty

    • Kelly let me inform you of something, ” and quitting 36 months before retirement is just dumb”, no it is not. This is a comrade of ours honorable men, bumb, not quit, he smart, even smarter then many now in the role of “serving” this Nation. It is not a matter of quitting, its a matter of safety and concerns he has for this family unit, #1 goal of a Patriot, warrior, and head of household. is also to protect and defend his. This regime currently in power, if it were half as smart as this warrior, family man, protector of his Nation, they would stop right now, apologize to the entire Nation, its Patriots, citizens, repent before man, GOD for the sins they have foisted upon this world, this Nation of ours, the pain and suffering and all of that, but that is not to be, of course we acknowledge and respect this warriors decision and do feel his pain in the internam of his decision to leave in good standing, otherwise known to you as quitting. He is a warrior first and foremost, he’s a father, husband, and quit possibly a GOD fearn’ man to the mix, but the one thing he is NOT is stupid or a wuss of any sort. Just think of the accurate protrayel of actions he’s witnessed in this career, the old addage of ” the fly on the wall” comes to mind.
      No he is smart and onto the ways, both illegal, and legal, this regime is conducting itself, many of these decisions are neither smart nor wise, IMHO. He saw a chance to break-away form the lawlessness of this regine, and for that I give a beer, a shot and acknowledgment of his courage, even after having served these years with honor, and distinction, duty to Country, State, and his family unit. This regime is not fit for commandiing a squadron of geese over the ponds of America much less such honorable men such as this warrior and man. It is quit fitting, his choice to not serve two masters. The devil we know and the devil we witness, it takes courage and commitment to both the Nation and his family unit. I can’t blame him for his choice, it is better for a man to choose, life, liberty and sanity over fraught, lies, destructions of our liberties and distrust for the one who is pretending to be C-n-C. Men among man of this caliber rarely make unwise decisions, and by the way of his conduct among men, man he is of the caliber of never being under-employeed, unimployeed or lack of a strong leadership position in this Country. He made what we call the ‘wise choice’ and I am sure he took a hard and long look at what is commonly know as the within crowd and did not want any part of it. For that I commend him Regards. Semper Fi.

    • I’m with you on this. My father is a WWII vet. My husband is a Vietnam vet, and his son is an Iraq war vet. They all have had the same requirements – 20 years in the service and they’d get a pension and healthcare. My father gets a very nice pension because he did his time in the military. And yes, he gutted out his last years – and more, too, so that he could get his bene’s. In fact, we were just talking about this today. I understand that the Navy Seal gave it up for his country. But so have many, many others. The requirement is STAY IN and get the bene’s at the end!

      Yes, I understand that his family is in danger, but unfortunately, that’s the way it goes. He could have put in for a different assignment to get through the last 36 months. He made his choices. And what he’s experiencing after leaving the military, is frankly, not really any different than any other guy who got out of the military and had to make his way in life. Those who fight have to deal with the demons. That’s the way it is, unfortunately. At the end of every war, there are those who make a great life for themselves and their families, those who end up homeless, and those who go through life being alcoholics and/or drug addicts. It has not really changed.

      Truly, I feel for him and his family. But, also, in reality, what he’s going through isn’t much different than what my husband, my father, and my husband’s son went through when they got out – along with millions of other guys.

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