The Washington Times - February 11, 2013, 11:00AM

“The man who shot Osama bin Laden is screwed,” writes Phil Bronstein in “The Shooter,” a 15,000-word story about the the former Navy SEAL Team Six member who killed the terrorist almost two years ago in a nighttime raid that is already the subject of much Hollywood and media speculation.

Published in the March issue of Esquire, the account aspires to provide the “definitive” report of the events, plus a “sobering portrait of life after the military.” Mr. Bronstein, executive chair of the California-based Center for Investigative Reporting, contends that the government “largely abandons” elite and highly-trained soldiers when they leave the service.


With the American way of war centered on asymmetrical and targeted strikes by special operation forces, Mr. Bronstein predicts “there will be an increasing number of vets in the Shooter’s circumstance: abandoned, with limited choices.”

The Pentagon, the USO and other service organizations would likely challenge that, but here is what Mr. Bronstein says he found:

“On the day ‘the Shooter” departed the military after 16 years, he was left with no medical insurance for him or his family, no pension, no comprehensive assistance in transitioning to civilian life, no provision for security from the threat of retaliation for himself or his family and and an average wait of nine months for those limited VA benefits that are available to him.”

In addition, had “the Shooter” stayed in for 20 years, he would have been eligible for a pension of $2197 a month, the same pension as a member of the Navy choir, the author says.

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