A popular Esquire story released today that claims the Navy SEAL who killed Osama bin Laden is ineligible for health care is apparently wrong about that, according to the military publication Stars and Stripes.
In the wake of the Esquire article's publication, which prompted a wave of media coverage (including here on Gawker), Stars and Stripes reporter Megan McCloskey did some digging and discovered that one of the main cruxes of the piece—that the the SEAL shooter receives no health coverage from the government—is inaccurate. Like other Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, asserts McCloskey, the SEAL is eligible for five years of free medical care upon retirement, a fact Esquire writer Phil Bronstein left out of his piece.
McCloskey called Bronstein, who is also the head of the Center for Investigative Reporting, who told her he omitted the availability of the veteran health benefits because "that's a different story."
The writer, Phil Bronstein, who heads up the Center for Investigative Reporting, stands by the story. He said the assertion that the government gave the SEAL "nothing" in terms of health care is both fair and accurate, because the SEAL didn't know the VA benefits existed.
"No one ever told him that this is available," Bronstein said.
He said there wasn't space in the article to explain that the former SEAL's lack of healthcare was driven by an ignorance of the benefits to which he is entitled.
"That's a different story," Bronstein said in a phone interview with Stars and Stripes about what he omitted from the article.