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Navy SEAL who shot bin Laden gives first interview

Posted at 10:15 PM, Feb 11, 2013
and last updated 2013-02-11 22:15:42-05

NORFOLK (WTKR) – The Navy SEAL who killed Osama bin Laden has given his first interview about the raid.

The SEAL, who has left the Navy, is only identified as ‘The Shooter’ in the story appearing in the March issue of Esquire and released online on Monday.

The shooter is a mystery to most, but reporter Phil Bronstein says the SEAL shared personal details with face-to-face.

“Right there, faced Osama bin Laden, less than a foot away from his gun, and shot him there three times in the forehead,” Bronstein says.

In Bronstein’s Esquire article he reveals some of the shooter’s personal struggles, since leaving the Navy.

“I think he has nightmares about how he’s going to support his family, how he’s going to feed his family,” Bronstein says.

In his article in Esquire, Bronstein writes that the SEAL retired three years early because he was, “burned out.”

“Deployment after deployment, killing people on a regular basis and when they finally get to the point when they don’t want to do that anymore and if they’re short of their 20 years, they get zero pension,” Bronstein says.

His article explains that this SEAL is left without pension, healthcare and protection for his family.

If this SEAL’s identity were leaked, he explained that the only government protection he would be offered after early retirement, would be a witness-protection-like program.

“There’s no protection, no set up, no system at all for any protection at all. That’s just not part of it. Really the deal is, you don’t talk about it and you go home and people don’t know. That’s the way it’s set up,” Don Mann, a former Navy SEAL explains.

Mann also said that it lines up that this former SEAL is having trouble finding a job. He says  the SEAL couldn’t possibly write on his applications that he was the one who killed bin Laden.

Although the SEAL may be having a difficult time finding a job, he says he does not regret pulling the trigger.

Bronstein quotes the SEAL saying, “I’m not religious, but I’ve always felt I was put on earth to do something specific. After that mission, I knew what it was.”