I am a military veteran with eight years of active duty, including part of the Vietnam era (1971-79). I feel some clarification needs to be offered concerning the former Navy SEAL who recently broke his silence. The Esquire magazine article “The Man Who Killed Osama bin Laden ... is Screwed,” along with numerous talking heads on the cable news channels, paint an unflattering picture of both the Navy and our nation.
Even the lowliest buck private knows you must have 20 years of service to qualify for a pension and health insurance. This individual now bemoans that, as if something to which he was entitled was taken from him. He simply elected not to re-enlist in the Navy for an additional four years to qualify.
Even his claim to have “retired” from the military is fallacious. When you stay in the service for 20 years, you retire. Those who leave after fulfilling whatever obligations they have incurred are referred to as having “gotten out.”
Before the flurry of sympathy fades, I suspect you will see his name on a book that a ghostwriter will quickly pen. That will likely coincide with a lecture tour for a high fee.
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