SEAL Who Killed Bin Laden Denied Health Coverage, Pension

Ian Becker

Last Veterans Day, President Obama declared that "no one who fights for this country overseas should ever have to fight for a job, or a roof over their head, or the care that they have earned when they come home." But the very man who shot and killed Osama Bin Laden, a member of the elite group of Navy SEALS that Joe Biden once described as the "finest warriors in the history of the world," was denied that care. In an interview with Esquire, the SEAL explained that he does not receive a pension, family protection, or health coverage as a result of retiring from the military three years shy of the 20 year mark. The government offers transitional healthcare benefits, but since the SEAL is not an active duty member or in the reserves, he is ineligible for coverage. The SEAL, like many vets, will have to wait eight months or more to have his disability claims resolved. And even if he had finished the full 20 years, his monthly pension benefits would only amount to half of his base pay. How much would that be for a member of SEAL Team 6? Just above 2,000 dollars a month.  Virtually none of the capital gleaned from blockbuster films, best-selling books, or first-person shooter video games about the raid falls in the hands of the actual SEAL Team 6. And many of the SEALs are reticent about promoting their roles in the raid, for fear of being targeted by Al-Qaeda affiliated groups, as No Easy Day author Matt Bissonnette was after having his true identity revealed by Fox News. The prospects for SEAL members are not all bad, however. The government did offer to set up the SEAL member with a job driving a beer truck in Milwaukee under an assumed name. He turned it down. 

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