All Things Soldier: The Other Side Of Zero Dark Thirty

American EagleThe elimination of Osama Bin Laden, whose code name was “Geronimo,” is the subject of a film entitled Zero Dark Thirty. It has been nominated for five Academy Awards, and it is no doubt not going to be the last treatment of the subject. I am not here to discuss the historical accuracies of the film as noted by those who participated in the raid that finally stopped one of the most evil jihadists that ever lived.

All Things Soldier

It is also not my intention to stir up the current brouhaha over the medical benefits that should be afforded those who risked life, limb and marriage to be a part of the S.E.A.L. team that took Geronimo out. My purpose is to shed light on the fact that while the film and its makers stand to make a fortune, the life of the man who fired the shots that split Osama’s head wide open is in chaos, and not because he has twisted off in a PTSD induced rage.

The first problem is that “the Shooter” and his family have had to endure the assault on their lives that can only be executed by exposure created by the media. Members of the media camped out on their lawn because the location of their home had been leaked. I can only hazard a guess just by whom. So what’s the big deal, other than a level of personal annoyance that is off the hook? In a word, security. You see, S.E.A.L.S get it that there really is a war on terror, that there are jihadist cells in our country who will wait for as long as it takes to retaliate for the death of Osama. If they can’t get the Shooter himself, then from the standpoint of psychological warfare against the Special Forces community, the next best thing is to kidnap and kill his family.

The second problem is the treatment of the entire S.E.A.L. team since their usefulness in shoring up the flagging popularity of their Commander in Chief during the 2012 election is no longer existent. Those who have retired have been put out to pasture in a way that would be darkly comical if it weren’t so pathetic. It has been suggested that the Shooter enter into a rather lame version of Witness Protection that would have him driving a beer truck somewhere in the heartland. They would have to sever their ties to all that has been their life, a move that would be insane when you consider that most marriages in the Special Forces community go down in flames. Seriously? A beer truck?

How’s this for an option? How about having a Fortune 500 company hire the Shooter and mining all the skills he has developed, and capitalizing on his training? Look at Bear Grylls. After he got out of the SAS, he taught us how to survive. And, oh, who do I think should be hired to be the bodyguards for the kids and their mom? The Boys from Blackwater. When I was in Iraq, I always felt the safest when they were watching a movie in my building. As the song goes, “Nobody does it better…”