WASHINGTON (CBSDC) — The commander of the Naval Special Warfare Command said the Navy SEAL who killed Osama bin Laden knew he would be losing his benefits by retiring early.
Rear Adm. Sean Pybus made the statement in response to a recent Esquire story where the SEAL known as the “Shooter” said that the military left him and his family with no health care and pension because he left four years before the 20-year retirement mark.
“Concerning recent writing and reporting on ‘The Shooter’ and his alleged situation, this former SEAL made a deliberate and informed decision to leave the Navy several years short of retirement status,” Pybus said in a statement to the Navy Times. “Months ahead of his separation, he was counseled on status and benefits, and provided with options to continue his career until retirement eligible. Claims to the contrary in these matters are false.”
The “Shooter” told Esquire that he lost his benefits when he retired after 16 years last September.
“I left SEALs on Friday,” he told Esquire. “My health care for me and my family stopped at midnight Friday night. I asked if there was some transition from my Tricare to Blue Cross Blue Shield. They said no. You’re out of the service, your coverage is over. Thanks for your 16 years. Go f*** yourself.”
The claim that the “Shooter” was not able to get health care through the military was wrong, Stars and Stripes reported. The Navy SEAL is eligible to get free health care through the Veterans Affairs Department for five years.
Pybus added that the Navy will help the “Shooter” any way possible.
“Naval Special Warfare and the Navy are prepared to help this former service member address health or transition issues, as we would with other former members,” Pybus said.