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I Killed Osama Bin Laden And All I Got Was This T-Shirt

 

ESQUIRE: “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. […] When the family asked about any kind of government protection should the Shooter’s name come out, they were advised that they could go into a witness-protection-like program. Just as soon as the Department of Defense creates one. “They [SEAL command] told me they could get me a job driving a beer truck in Milwaukee” under an assumed identity. Like Mafia snitches, they would not be able to contact their families or friends. “We’d lose everything.” MORE

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