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.