There is a long article at Esquire. Here is the meat.
“No one who fights for this country overseas should ever have to fight for a job,” Barack Obama said last Veterans’ Day, “or a roof over their head, or the care that they have earned when they come home.”
But the Shooter will discover soon enough that when he leaves after sixteen years in the Navy, his body filled with scar tissue, arthritis, tendonitis, eye damage, and blown disks, here is what he gets from his employer and a grateful nation:
Nothing. No pension, no health care, and no protection for himself or his family.
Since Abbottabad, he has trained his children to hide in their bathtub at the first sign of a problem as the safest, most fortified place in their house. His wife is familiar enough with the shotgun on their armoire to use it. She knows to sit on the bed, the weapon’s butt braced against the wall, and precisely what angle to shoot out through the bedroom door, if necessary. A knife is also on the dresser should she need a backup.
Then there is the “bolt” bag of clothes, food, and other provisions for the family meant to last them two weeks in hiding.
“Personally,” his wife told me recently, “I feel more threatened by a potential retaliatory terror attack on our community than I did eight years ago,” when her husband joined ST6.
When the White House identified SEAL Team 6 as those responsible, camera crews swarmed into their Virginia Beach neighborhood, taking shots of the SEALs’ homes.
I have nothing but respect for this man. He is an anonymous hero. That said, what did he expect? He didn’t retire from the Navy, he got out. He left before the minimum tour of 20 years. When you do that, you get nothing. I left the Army after 14 years of combined active and reserve component service. I get nothing. I knew that when I left.
Well, that isn’t exactly true. He has access to veterans benefits including VA healthcare.
It is hard for me to believe the Shooter was discharged against his will. He knew leaving the service before 20 would make him just another citizen soldier. Everyone in the military knows that. I don’t quite get the outrage. There is just no way the Shooter didn’t know that leaving the Navy at 16 years would result in no retirement benefits. Another four years would have changed everything.
Still, the article is an extreme rarity: A good read at Esquire. Check it out.