In an NBC interview with Esquire magazine’s contributor Phil Bronstein on Monday, it was alleged that the U.S. Navy SEAL who shot and killed Osama bin Laden won’t have access to health care after leaving the service.
“What they offered when he came out, the day after the raid, was a form of witness protection,” Phil Bronstein said to NBC host Matt Lauer. “Someone, perhaps jokingly, at the SEAL command said, ‘We can get you a job driving a beer truck in Milwaukee, and you have to break all contact with your extended family.’ It’s like a Mafia snitch.”
In the article Bronstein wrote for Esquire, the unidentified SEAL who the author refers to as “The Shooter,” says he lost his benefits after leaving the Navy four years short of the 20-year mark.
But according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, those who are “discharged or released from active service on or after January 28, 2003, are eligible to enroll in the VA health care system for 5 years from the date of discharge or release.”
Bronstein said that the reason The Shooter left the service early was due to wanting to see his children graduate school and get married. He also “hoped to be able to sleep through the night for the first time in years,” and was “burned out,” saying that he realized that he had “stopped getting an adrenaline rush from gun fights,” and that it was “time to go.”
According to Bronstein, now that The Shooter has been denied his military benefits, he has to pay for health care out of pocket, while at the same being unable to use his military service as a reference when applying for job, due to the secrecy and security concerns surrounding his past missions.
“He also can’t talk about anything, really,” Bronstein told Lauer. “Technically, certainly theoretically, this is all private. What do you put on your resume when your job has been classified for that long?”
Watch the Matt Lauer interview with Bronstein in the video below.