O homem que matou Osama Bin Laden
Publicado em: 12 Fev, 2013
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The SEAL standing next to the Shooter would say later, “Man, I was dying to tell him it was you.”

From the moment reporters started getting urgent texts hours before President Obama’s official announcement on May 1, 2011, the bin Laden mission exploded into public view. Suddenly, a brilliant spotlight was shining where shadows had ruled for decades.

TV trucks descended on the SEAL Team 6 community in Virginia Beach, showing their homes and hangouts.

“The big mission changed a lot of attitudes around the command,” the Shooter says. “There were suspicions about whether anyone was selling out.”

It had begun “when we were still in the Jalalabad hangar with our shit on. There was a lot of ‘Don’t let this go to your head, don’t talk to anyone,’ not even our own Red Team guys who hadn’t gone with us.”

The assaulters “were immediately put in a box, like a time-out,” says the Shooter’s close friend, who was not on the mission. “‘Don’t open your mouth.’ I would have flown them to Tahoe for a week.”

But even with the SEALs’ strong history of institutional modesty, there was no unringing this bell.

The potential for public fame was too great, and suspicion was high inside SEAL Team 6.

The Shooter was among those reprimanded for going out to a bar to celebrate the night they got back home. And he was supposed to report for work the next morning, but instead took the day off to spend with his kids.

Twenty-four hours later came the offer of witness protection, driving the beer truck in Milwaukee. “That was the best idea on the table for security.”

“Maybe some courtesy eyes-on checks” of his home, he thought. “Send some Seabees over to put in a heavier, metal-reinforced front door. Install some sensors or something. But there was literally nothing.”

He considered whether to get a gun permit for life outside the perimeter.

The SEALs are proud of being ready for “anything and everything.” But when it came to his family’s safety? “I don’t have the resources.”

With gossip and finger-pointing continuing over the mission, the Shooter made a decision “to show I wasn’t a douchebag, that I’m still part of this team and believe in what we’re doing.”

He re-upped for another four-month deployment. It would be in the brutal cold of Afghanistan’s winter.

But he had already decided this would be his last deployment, his SEAL Team 6 sayonara.

“I wanted to see my children graduate and get married.” 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.”

May 1, 2012, the first anniversary of the bin Laden mission. The Shooter is getting ready to go play with his kids at a water park. He’s watching CNN.

“They were saying, ‘So now we’re taking viewer e-mails. Do you remember where you were when you found out Osama bin Laden was dead?’ And I was thinking: Of course I remember. I was in his bedroom looking down at his body.”

The standing ovation of a country in love with its secret warriors had devolved into a news quiz, even as new generations of SEALs are preparing for sacrifice in the Horn of Africa, Iran, perhaps Mexico.

The Shooter himself, an essential part of the team helping keep us safe since 9/11, is now on his own. He is enjoying his family, finally, and won’t be kissing his kids goodbye as though it were the last time and suiting up for the battlefield ever again.

But when he officially separates from the Navy three months later, where do his sixteen years of training and preparedness go on his résumé? Who in the outside world understands the executive skills and keen psychological fortitude he and his First Tier colleagues have absorbed into their DNA? Who is even allowed to know? And where can he go to get any of these questions answered?

There is a Transition Assistance Program in the military, but it’s largely remedial level, rote advice of marginal value: Wear a tie to interviews, not your Corfam (black shiny service) shoes. Try not to sneeze in anyone’s coffee.

“It’s criminal to me that these guys walk out the door naked,” says retired Marine major general Mike Myatt. “They’re the greatest of their generation; they know how to get things done. If I were a Fortune 500 company, I’d try to get my hands on any one of them.” General Myatt, standing in the mezzanine of the Marines Memorial building he runs in San Francisco, is surrounded by so many Marine memorial plaques he’s had to expand the memorial around the corner due to so many deaths over the past eleven years of war.

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