Stars And Stripes Says Esquire Article Wrong: SEAL Who Killed Bin Laden Has Health Care
The blog for veterans says Esquire didn’t get it right.
…it asserts that once the SEAL got out of the military he was left to fend for himself.
“…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.”
Except the claim about health care is wrong. And no servicemember who does less than 20 years gets a pension, unless he has to medically retire.
Like every combat veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, the former SEAL, who is identified in the story only as “the Shooter”, is automatically eligible for five years of free healthcare through the Department of Veterans Affairs.
But the story doesn’t mention that.
The writer, Phil Bronstein, who heads up the Center for Investigative Reporting, stands by the story. He said the assertion that the government gave the SEAL “nothing” in terms of health care is both fair and accurate, because the SEAL didn’t know the VA benefits existed.
“No one ever told him that this is available,” Bronstein said.
He said there wasn’t space in the article to explain that the former SEAL’s lack of healthcare was driven by an ignorance of the benefits to which he is entitled.
“That’s a different story,” Bronstein said in a phone interview with Stars and Stripes about what he omitted from the article.
The Center for Investigating Reporting posted a story on its website today that goes into greater detail about the SEAL’s interactions with the VA, including that he has a disability claim that is stuck in the backlog.
Esquire magazine has not yet responded to a request for comment.