In the film, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, John Wayne portrays a man who saves a cowboy who kills a local bully outlaw that terrorizes a town to saves a young, greenhorn lawyer (James Stewart) who steals the heart of Wayne’s love interest. Wayne ends up a lonely drunk and the movie begins with his death and the lawyer many years later, who became a state senator in Washington, DC and his wife (love interest of cowboy), taking a long train trip back to the town where the true hero died to bury the man who saved his life.The character was elected because the public thought he was the hero that saved the town from an infamous outlaw.
In a real life story, the man who killed the most wanted criminal in the world is living a life-like a person on a FBI witness program against an organized crime leader. His life has become a shamble and he is now breaking silence after one year through a journalist he has grown to trust.
HUNTER BECOMES THE HUNTED
For the first time, the Navy SEAL who killed Osama bin Laden tells his story — speaking not just about the raid and the three shots that changed history, but about the personal aftermath for himself and his family. And the startling failure of the United States government to help its most experienced and skilled warriors carry on with their lives.
Phil Bronstein spent a year building trust of the ex-Navy SEAL who killed the infamous terrorist leader with a $25 million reward dead or alive.[according to Esquire]
In the Bronstein interview, the Oscar-nominated film Zero Dark Thirty  is discussed. The Navy SEAL stated that the tactics portrayed in the film were old-fashioned. The film was produced and directed by Kathryn Bigelow and written for the screen by fellow producer Mark Boal about the greatest manhunt in history that spanned ten years.
Now the shooter has become the hunted one and he fears for his family from terrorists out for the revenge of their martyred Islamic fundamentalist leader. He has been a part of hundreds of successful missions and one of the most decorated veterans of this era, whose career ended when he took out bin Laden with three bullets in the head in a secret hideout in Pakistan. Of course, being US military member in active service, he did not receive the $25 million reward for bin Laden nor will he receive any royalty for books and films about the historical event. Bronstein revealed in the interview that the shooter left service 36 months short of a full 20-year retirement and lacks health care despite having arthritis (common in veterans who spend years living in different climates and weather), tendonitis, and ruptured spinal disks. His family has not been fully protected against retaliation, loss of his wife because of the pressure of his job, rarely seeing her, and inability to communicate with the Department of Veterans Affairs because of his secretive circumstance. He also faces issues that many veterans face when reentering civilian life after two decades or more service of their country. The retired commando states he has been abandoned by those he faithfully served. The commando stated:
…my healthcare for me and my family stopped … 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 sixteen years. …
He bitterly remarked that his family would have been better off if he was killed on a special-ops mission than retiring. He took early retirement because he had become burned out, being on missions 300 days a year. All the government offered him was driving a beer truck with a new identity in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Derek Blumke, former official of the US Department of Veteran Affairs stated that the commando is entitled to free healthcare for the next five years as well as disability benefits for life relating to any injuries incurred during military service. It took eighteen years for the VA to recognize service related injuries in my personal case, so I can relate to the commando’s dilemma. With his classified service and being on a protection program, he probably is finding it difficult to get his paperwork through for any claims.
The shooter’s father told Esquire that his son is unable to reap any reward for his sacrifice.
NewsMax also has the story.
The commando’s story is one out of many who have served their country and because of cuts from a government who provides foreign nations and people with billions of dollars, short changes our veterans. Congress has passed bills since 1996 that screw veterans out of benefits promised when they decided to make the military a career and lived to see retirement. Some feel like the commando and wish they had died so at least their families would receive from $100,000 to $250,000 of life insurance, depending what level chosen while serving. That life insurance, most of the time, can be transferred to a civilian life insurance program. The red-tape bureaucracy in place for veterans trying to get benefits like rehabilitation programs, education, and home loans is such a nightmare that many institutions refuse to deal with it – especially when it comes to home loans.
According to US News and World Report:
… 83 percent of military personnel don’t make it to the 20 year mark. And the category of military personnel least likely to make it to 20 years—enlisted troops serving in ground combat units in the Army and Marines—are also those who have borne the brunt of more than a decade of frequent deployments and brutal wars. … The Defense Business Board—an appointed group of for-profit executives who give nonbinding advice to the Pentagon on thorny management questions—notes that the basic structure of military retirement has not changed in 100 years.
The Defense Business Board, as well as the Quadrennial Review of Military Compensation, noted that this structure is financially unsustainable and unhelpfully inflexible for managing personnel needs, as well as unfair. Controversially, both proposed shifting to a defined contribution model in which the government contributes into a retirement account, to which service members could also contribute. Similar proposals to manage healthcare costs by increasing fees and co-pays, and requiring retirees with alternate health coverage to use it, would save enough money to extend coverage to shorter-term veterans who needed it. These proposals have come from analysts across the political spectrum—and have been equally unpopular with veterans and active-duty personnel who enjoy the current system—and who were promised its benefits when they signed up.
Congress and the stroke of a pen from a president can change the benefits promised when a person signed up for the military and made it their career.
Presidents are not responsible for creating such legislation; however, they are responsible for approving it by signing it instead of vetoing it – which means a commander-in-chief can throw veterans under the proverbial “bus”. The federal government constantly involves itself in other nations’ wars, but forgets who performs in them. The same people who approve combat tours are the same ones creating legislation that cut benefits and leave disabled veterans fending for themselves.
It is why so many veterans (and active-duty personnel) backed Ron Paul in the last presidential election – they are tired of fighting other people’s wars and getting screwed by the government that sends them. The federal government needs to rethink and restructure their foreign policy thinking and reduce the use of our military to primary full-time defense which will allow state-of-the-art equipment for the armed forces on a reasonable budget, and a force big enough to meet any demands required for the United States to intervene or prevent rogue nations from starting World War III.
As Ronald Reagan’s policy – a strong defensive military and strong leadership is more apt to keep peace. The present administration falls short of those capabilities and standards.