Military Musings

It has almost been two years since the most wanted man of the Twenty-First Century, Osama Bin Laden, was killed in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

The United States Navy deployed SEALs to crush him from existence, and as always, they delivered.

The news caused a swell of patriotism: The United States Naval Academy Midshipmen celebrated in the streets of Annapolis, Maryland; the spectators at Citizens Bank Park, in the middle of a ball game, began to sing the national anthem; all across the country, people knew this was a great victory over our enemies.

But that seems a distant past, as now the man that is credited with eliminating Osama Bin Laden faces civilian life.

Known as ‘The Shooter’ for anonymity, he has retired from the elite of the military to begin life as an every-day citizen of the United States, a transition that should be flawless for someone who stared evil in the face. But his struggles have not ended.

According to Military.com, the shooter will not be receiving free healthcare, as he was only active duty for sixteen years. One would need to be in the military for twenty years. He has been given mild witness protection coverage, and he now drives beer trucks in Milwaukee. This is not uncommon. The transition from military to civilian life is always difficult for men who have faced live combat. They go from rigid structure to average life and are surrounded by people that, as hard as they wish to, do not understand what they did.

During their time in the military, soldiers learn incredible leadership skills that would greatly improve many different businesses in this country. But few have that opportunity, as when they get out, they have very little money.

Deep down, we are all thankful for their sacrifices, but no one wants to think of combat. Who wants to think about something so brutal? We thank the shooter for his act of valor, but he understood the sacrifices he would make. His face will be forgotten, but his is a part of a greater legacy, passed through the United States Military since day one.