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Local fundraiser set up for man who killed bin Laden

BIN LADEN(CNN) — He’s the man who rolled into a bedroom in Abbottabad, Pakistan, raised his gun and shot Osama bin Laden three times in the forehead.

Nearly two years later, the SEAL Team Six member is a secret celebrity with nothing to show for the deed; no job, no pension, no recognition outside a small circle of colleagues.

A local fundraising site has been set up to provide the former SEAL with some retirement money. To go to that fundraising site, click here.

Journalist Phil Bronstein profiled the man in the March issue of Esquire, calling him only the Shooter — a husband, father and SEAL Team Six member who says he happened to pull the trigger on the notorious terrorist. It’s a detailed account of how the raid unfolded, and what comes after for those involved. The headline splashed across the cover reads, “The man who killed Osama bin Laden … is screwed.”

In a statement the Navy responded: “We have no information to corroborate these new assertions. We take seriously the safety and security of our people, as well as our responsibility to assist sailors making a transition to civilian life. Without more information about this particular case, it would be difficult to determine the degree to which our transition programs succeeded.”

“They spent, in the case of the shooter, 16 years doing exactly what they’re trained to do, which is going out on these missions, deployment after deployment, killing people on a regular basis, ” said Bronstein, executive chairman of the Center for Investigative Reporting. “They finally get to the point where they don’t want to do that anymore.”

Bronstein reported that the man left SEAL Team Six in September. His family’s health care coverage ceased. Because he retired before the 20-year mark, he gets no pension.

Asked why he left the military before his 20-year retirement mark, the shooter said, “I wanted to see my children graduate and get married.”

He said he hoped to be able to sleep through the night for the first time in years.

“I was burned out,” he says. “And I realized that when I stopped getting an adrenaline rush from gunfights, it was time to go.”

The shooter is judicious about the details of his story and hasn’t been involved in dramatic books, movies or video games that will make millions for some. It’s out of loyalty to his work and concern about his family’s safety, Bronstein said. The shooter worries what could happen if his name went public, like Matt Bissonnette, the SEAL whose identity was revealed after he published the book “No Easy Day” using a pseudonym. CNN can’t verify the account in Esquire, or the one in Bissonnette’s book.

Bronstein reported that the shooter was offered some witness protection, but no such program exists yet.

Home life is a struggle, too. The shooter and his wife are separated, Bronstein wrote, although they live in the same house — “on very friendly, even loving terms” — to save money. He has done consulting work, Bronstein told CNN, but it’s not clear how long it will last.

“They suddenly find themselves trying to translate into a civilian world that they’re not used, and they haven’t been used to for decades,” Bronstein said. “I think he has nightmares about how he’s going to support his family, and how he’s going to feed his family.”

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9 comments

  • Cesar

    Yes there was a reward of millions of dollars or was it!!!!!!!!!!! eh who knows one thing i do know is that much money gets you bankrupt and you probably get tricked with the bank and actually don't end up getting the money there are tons of tricks out there that people make up…..

  • thug_nasty_253

    Stupid , why pay him when that was his job to do …it's like rewarding a cop for giving tickets out stupid fundraise for something useful or someone who needs it's

  • Tom welborne

    With all do respect. I served over 10 years as an Army GB. We caught Sadam and didn’t get anything. Who cares that you shot Osama!? You were doing your job and sorry we are in the military and don’t get reward money for doing our job. You are suppose to be a quiet professional protecting the country from the shadows not running around telling everyone you shot Osama Bin Ladin and asking for a hand out!!! I got out and will not get the 20 year retirement. You have to fulfill the time to get paid.

  • Tom welborne

    Another thing that people do not know but should is, the "shooter" has committed a crime by leaking out top secrete information. He like all the rest of us in the special operations community can not release secrete and top secrete information for 30 year!!! He signed a waiver that stated that he will not release any information for 30 year, in violating that he should be going to JAIL!!

  • phill

    If you continue to open your mouth, very soon everybody will know your name. Go back to the dark, from where you never should have come out. and stop crying, that is what pediatrician offices are for….