Feb. 11, 2013
magazine will publish an exclusive in-depth feature story in the
issue about the former Navy SEAL Team Six member who killed
Osama Bin Laden
. The 15,000-word story, "The Shooter," is written by
, Executive Chair of the Center for Investigative Reporting (the piece was reported in cooperation with CIR), and is based on extensive interviews with the man who killed bin Laden. The story reveals untold, unforgettable details of the historic nighttime raid in May, 2011 at bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad,
, and stands as the definitive account of what happened there that night. It also offers a sobering portrait of life after the military and makes the case that the government largely abandons its most elite and highly-trained soldiers after their service is over. The Navy SEAL, identified as "the Shooter" for his safety and that of his family (and out of respect for his colleagues), told Bronstein his story both to correct the historical record of the bin Laden mission and to put a spotlight on how
the United States
government treats its most highly-trained and accomplished soldiers once they return to civilian life.
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.
- An average wait of nine months for those limited VA benefits that are available to him.
(Note: Had "the Shooter" stayed in for 20 years, he would have been eligible for a pension of
per month, the same pension as a member of the Navy choir.)
Please find the complete story here on Esquire.com :
Bronstein spent more than a year establishing trust and building a rapport with the now-retired Navy SEAL at the center of this story, as well as interviewing several other SEAL Team 6 members. One, a friend of the Shooter, states: "If I get killed on this next deployment, I know my family will be taken care of. But if I come back and retire, I won't have a pot to piss in or a window to throw it out of for the rest of my life. Sad to say, it's better if I get killed."