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Report: SEAL Who Shot Bin Laden Unemployed, Broke


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He quit after 16 years. Why didn't he go 4 more years and get a military pension

for 20 years? He quit, wasn't fired, refused reserves. Sorry but in order for me

to retire from my job I have to be a certain age, have so many years same as military.

If I quit my job I get NO health care, NO salary, NO benefits. Why should any one else be

preferential.---Sorry but that's life!---John

Edited by john53
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Yea so what if he shot Osama. Anyone else in his position would have been the trigger puller he just happened to be in that position at that time. Don't feel sorry for him for too long I'm sure he's already working the jobless routine to sell book and interview deals. He'll make way more money than ill see in the feasible future I'm sure.

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OK. I'll jump on this. First, it was his choice to leave (from what I can tell). Everyone knows in the military if they leave prior to 20 years, you don't get a pension or medical. As for the latter, he has an opportunity to go through the VA disability process (it is slow and painfu) that will cover any of the service induced injuries. That is reality and the way it has been for a very long time. I know of hundreds of people who left with 15+ years of service. Most of them did so voluntarily and usually went into the reserves. I know some who were forced out because of their own actions after 15 years. I know of a few that the military would not allow to continue to twenty years of service (selective continuation), which really sucks.

He doesn't have a job. This is a systemic issue across the country. There are tens of thousands in the same boat. It is extremely difficult for veterans, especially with his credentials and experience, to transition and find employment in the private sector. I agree with the points at the end about the military transition process is inadequate. I agree with the senior folks that say the private sector are missiong out (private sector is completely ignorant of military service). The problems are multiple. This is a completely different issue (and one I'm trying to help with a non-profit) and has been ongoing for some time.

I respect this guy for what he did, his experience, his devotion to family. In the end, the choice was his.

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I repect our troops very much but I can't feel sorry because he decided to quit. As Bigasshammm put it, he's working the Hollywood gravy train where any publicity is good publicity. And with Zero Dark Thirty still fresh in people's mind, he'll make money or atleast some kind of income from the talks shows and book signing appearances.

The troops I really feel for are those who answer the call and come back to find their employer filled their position with cheap labour. Those employers should feel ashamed for putting someone out of work like that, especially when that employee goes overseas to fight for the our freedom.

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I guess the article is good in that points out the difficulty of transition, the rest is kinda overblown, and the only thing that makes it unique is this guy is a SEAL and got UBL. Other than that, the names and places can be changed but the story is similar to hundreds of thousands of men and women who are coming back from the land of sand and into a limited job market. (Though as tier 1 operator I am sure he can find something.)

I know so many people that would love to be in this guys shoes, and so many people that are already without the UBL payoff; I know guys who just cruised around in circles in the desert until they lost limbs. no snazzy stealth helicopter assassination, no triumphant moment.

Also this:

http://news.sky.com/story/1050867/chris-kyle-memorial-for-us-sniper-shot-dead

Edited by TaiidanTomcat
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Wow, so quick to judgment... amazing! BANGHEAD2.jpg

I think the point of the article was to highlight a problem that is more than just about himself! Frankly, these people have put way more in, in such shorter careers, than many of the rest of could ever dream of going through in several life times combined!... and will have to spend the rest of their lives looking over their shoulders for it REGARDLESS of whether they seek fame for it or not! I doubt many of the rest of us peons will be placed in such a difficult position by our so-called "careers".... so I can see where they're coming from.

Why don't we give this some time to see how it plays out before instantly accusing the guy of being a glory hound?

Edited by J.C. Bahr
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Troops leave the service for all sorts of reasons.

I'm sure this dude has been through a lot and the SEALs (Team Six in particular) have lost many men these last few years...each one like losing a member of your family.

My job while I was on Active duty was pretty cush in comparison but after a few trips over to the desert I was pretty burnt out, thank god the 20 year mark came when it did because I wasn't doing a day longer.

Other people are getting rich off of his work.

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Sorry, but I have to agree with the rest of the posts. I left the military before 20, and nobody seems concerned that I don't have *ANY* (and I mean **zero**) benefits of any kind, including VA health benefits because I fell into the magic period between the end of Vietnam and the beginning of the new benefits in the early 1990s. Zip. No education benefit, no health benefit, no nothing. I don't cry about it (I wouldn't be caught dead in a VA hospital - or rather, I probably *would* be dead), and I paid for my education myself.

It's just the way of the world. He didn't do anything other than what he volunteered to do. The fact that he killed bin Laden is no different than anyone else doing the duty they volunteered or were ordered to do when they signed on the dotted line.

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Clinton_L._Romesha.jpg

This is Clinton Romesha, He received the Medal Of Honor today. He works in North Dakota in the Oil Industry currently.

Esquire magazine claims “The Man Who Killed Osama bin Laden ... Is Screwed.”

The story details the life of the Navy SEAL after the successful raid to take out the No. 1 terrorist, and it asserts that once the SEAL got out of the military he was left to fend for himself.

“...here is what he gets from his employer and a grateful nation:

Nothing. No pension, no health care, and no protection for himself or his family.”

Except the claim about health care is wrong. And no servicemember who does less than 20 years gets a pension, unless he has to medically retire.

Like every combat veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, the former SEAL, who is identified in the story only as “the Shooter”, is automatically eligible for five years of free healthcare through the Department of Veterans Affairs.

But the story doesn’t mention that.

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.

The Center for Investigating Reporting posted a story on its website today that goes into greater detail about the SEAL's interactions with the VA, including that he has a disability claim that is stuck in the backlog.

Esquire magazine has not yet responded to a request for comment.

The story’s claims are getting a lot of buzz - The Washington Post picked up the detail about the SEAL's healthcare situation - disconcerting veteran advocates like Brandon Friedman, who served as an Army infantry officer in Iraq and Afghanistan and used to be a VA public affairs officer.

“Misinformation like this doesn’t help veterans,” he said. “When one veteran hears in a high-profile story that another veteran was denied care, it makes him or her less likely to enroll in the VA system.”

http://www.stripes.com/blogs/the-ruptured-duck/the-ruptured-duck-1.160117/esquire-article-wrongly-claims-seal-who-killed-bin-laden-is-denied-healthcare-1.207506

I can't imagine voluntarily quitting at 16 in. As my old man said, "you make that decision at 8 years, because anything beyond that you might as well do 20. you do 4, 8, or 20" This guy really can't find a BS detail to run the clock out? I knew an SF guy from the USAF who spent years as a personal body guard for a General. it was his job to basically walk around with a sidearm looking terrifying (He did by the way) Even Navy SEALs have desk jobs. I can't imagine him not having any friends or leverage to chill at Coronado for 4 years. Being A recently sinlge SEAL from Team Six in southern California is a tough job but someone has to do it :coolio:

Edited by TaiidanTomcat
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Wow, so quick to judgment... amazing! BANGHEAD2.jpg

I think the point of the article was to highlight a problem that is more than just about himself! Frankly, these people have put way more in, in such shorter careers, than many of the rest of could ever dream of going through in several life times combined!... and will have to spend the rest of their lives looking over their shoulders for it REGARDLESS of whether they seek fame for it or not! I doubt many of the rest of us peons will be placed in such a difficult position by our so-called "careers".... so I can see where they're coming from.

Why don't we give this some time to see how it plays out before instantly accusing the guy of being a glory hound?

Yeah, that's kind of th mentality I was taking into this too. There seems to be a whole lot of people claiming that this guy is chomping on Hollywood's door steps, and waiting to sell out. Perhaps we may have read the article different, but the interpretation that I got from it was that this guy honored his time and code of secrecy with the SEALS, and is not interested in chasing the money, in spite of the fact that he's watched "No Easy Day" rake in millions. Give the dude a frickin' break.

Clinton_L._Romesha.jpg

This is Clinton Romesha, He received the Medal Of Honor today. He works in North Dakota in the Oil Industry currently.

http://www.stripes.com/blogs/the-ruptured-duck/the-ruptured-duck-1.160117/esquire-article-wrongly-claims-seal-who-killed-bin-laden-is-denied-healthcare-1.207506

I can't imagine voluntarily quitting at 16 in. As my old man said, "you make that decision at 8 years, because anything beyond that you might as well do 20. you do 4, 8, or 20" This guy really can't find a BS detail to run the clock out? I knew an SF guy from the USAF who spent years as a personal body guard for a General. it was his job to basically walk around with a sidearm looking terrifying (He did by the way) Even Navy SEALs have desk jobs. I can't imagine him not having any friends or leverage to chill at Coronado for 4 years. Being A recently sinlge SEAL from Team Six in southern California is a tough job but someone has to do it :coolio:/>

I think someone has watched Top Gun too many times <_<

Have you ever served in the military, dude, or are you just quoting cliche antics that your pops spilled down to you, and referencing your spec op's buddies??? Because you make it sound like you have the assumption that these guys just walk into an office and tell their unit CO "Hey, this sucks, I want to ride off into the sunset at some half assed skate duty." and they get their orders cut the next day. News Flash dude....you're wrong. Furthermore, put your body what these guys put their bodies through for 16 years, and tell me if those 'last measly four years' seem so easy. Pretty sure he clearly stated that his back, and vision are half shot up at this point. Clear example of how this country expects so much from so few, but give so little in return. You're half correct in the fact that SEALS have desk jobs, and most of them are officers who, even in their "armchair duty" are still pulling more than the other half of the military. I don't mean to come off as harsh, but it sounds petty for someone to sit here and call him a quitter at 16 years. How about he wants to spend time with his family (what's left of it anyways), and watch his kids grow up. I didn't recount anywhere in here where he was complaining about the fact that he was walking away. He was simply stating that the reality is a harsh one in the fact that the bills are still there, but the money isn't. He didn't blame it on Obama, or the Navy, or anyone. He's just addressed what every veteran comes up against when transitioning, which is that it's scary. Probably a little more complex on his end because he's got the weight of a terrorist nation waiting to kill him on his shoulders, but I'm sure he'll manage with that just like he will picking up the pieces and moving forward to whatever is next.

In conclusion. This guy isn't feeling sorry for himself. He humbly shared the credit in the face of the President when asked who pulled the trigger, and has very normal fears about "what he wants to do when he grows up." These guys are still humans, they want the same things that every other person in the world wants, and he hasn't asked for any hand-outs in return. Seems like some folks took the fact that he was criticizing Zero Dark Thirty as some kind of arrogant money chasing sell out. Seemed to me like he was just another guy that went to the movies and laughed how Hollywood packed the movie up some. Call me crazy, but I think he's kind of deserved that right. He did after all helped write the script.

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Personally, I think the article was more of the issue than the ex-SEAL. Makes for a great story - national hero tossed out on the street by the heartless military, no medical, no job, no pension. Unfortunately, each claim should have an * next to it since there is much more to the story. Typical anti-military spin if you ask me.

I really don't think this guy has to worry, given the insatiable market for SEAL-related books, media interview, etc, he'll never be hard up for money if he is smart and hires a good PR agent. If he truly was the "shooter" who killed OBL, he could cash in more than any other ex-SEAL out there.

As a last resort, there also seems to be a great market for ex-special forces guys to serve as personal body guards, security consultants,etc. I'm sure that the company formerly know as Blackwater would offer him a 6 figure paycheck in a heartbeat. I just don't see any reason to feel bad for him.

If you want to feel sorry for anyone, feel bad for the average 24 year old ex-grunt that is now discharged and trying to make his way in the civilian world. I believe Dakota Myer was working part time as a concrete laborer when he got the call from the President that he was awarded the MoH.

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If you want to feel sorry for anyone, feel bad for the average 24 year old ex-grunt that is now discharged and trying to make his way in the civilian world. I believe Dakota Myer was working part time as a concrete laborer when he got the call from the President that he was awarded the MoH.

Thats my point. He isn't the first guy to go through this. I'm glad to know when SEALs talk about not talking there is a *just don't use your name, *esquire doesn't count.

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Have you ever served in the military, dude, or are you just quoting cliche antics that your pops spilled down to you, and referencing your spec op's buddies???

No, never whats it like?

Because you make it sound like you have the assumption that these guys just walk into an office and tell their unit CO "Hey, this sucks, I want to ride off into the sunset at some half assed skate duty." and they get their orders cut the next day.

I didn't say be stupid about it. But Thats a good point, no one in the military has ever been able to find a way to get into an easier job than what they are doing now. EVER. especially one that did something extraordinary like this one, in a tight community that looks after its own. frankly after years on ST6 any kind of stateside duty is going to be easier. Not piece of cake fall asleep drunk by 1600 easier, but easier.

News Flash dude....you're wrong. Furthermore, put your body what these guys put their bodies through for 16 years, and tell me if those 'last measly four years' seem so easy. Pretty sure he clearly stated that his back, and vision are half shot up at this point. Clear example of how this country expects so much from so few, but give so little in return.

I don't disagree but is he so different, special, and unique as to warrant special treatment? if he gets special treatment for killing UBL, how about the grunt medic that lost both limbs trying to save a soldier?

I don't mean to come off as harsh, but it sounds petty for someone to sit here and call him a quitter at 16 years.

seeing as the big gist of the article is he won't get a pension and you need to do 20 years to get a pension and he is opting out of reserve duty. If he wants to stop at 16 and never pick up a weapon again thats fine... but you are knowingly opting out of that pension. The article makes it sound like he is some kind of moron, who either doesn't understand this, or that he should get special treatment. (always a popular choice)

We are all adults here. 20-16 = 4. This is the part where you tell me that no one in the military runs out the clock on their last few years ever, ever.

BTW did you read the article?

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OK...I have to chime in here. I'm a 31 year veteran of the Army who was Medically Retired due do injuries from Iraq. Now, even tho I'm 100% disabled with a VA pension and collect Social Security Disability I can with good authority tell you that there are major discrepencies to what is being written about this SEAL.

First of all I applaud him for his time in the service as well as making to the SEAL teams. I know BUDS is no easy haul and neither is living the life of a SEAL.

But here's the issues. Our young SEAL says he has back and vision problems. Well, I for one know that even with less than 20 years in the service, you can still get VA treatment for those issues and for other issues that are connected with those two. As a matter of fact, if their combat related...he can also get a VA percentage as well as a percentage of a Navy retirement with less than 20 years in. And if they're attributed to combat...he has VA care for life. These are things he would have learned if he transitioned out of the Navy properly. Ever single military member has to go through a boat load of briefings about this. As a matter of fact, the nay has their version of a Wounded Warrior Unit that all the services have now. And this is for all wounded service members who were found with injuries of a great enough level to warrant a continuum of care before they're either discharged, or found fit for duty.

The whole story sounds like it's been edited by a mainstream media blitz to make the Government look bad. It doesn't smell right...nor does it even sound right!

Guys, I spent 2.5 years in the hospital due to wounds and issues from Iraq. I know there's special medical systems in pace for EACH of the Services. So I think we need to get the full story and not the watered down one we've been given!

Mike

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I honestly think this is the article that was going to be written no matter what "The Shooter" said. I am not trying to be critical of him. (although I find it odd that he is "shunning all attention" by talking to esquire, and this story is one of the reasons why that rule exists, but I digress)

He is special- just like everyone else coming home and trying to get their civilian lives back on track.

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I really think "Esquire" placed their own spin on the article...and you're right...why shun everyone else but only talk to Esquire. I'm not critical of the "Shooter"...yet. But I am critical of Esquire for what seems to be a one sided story. Being in the system...which pretty much works the same for all services when getting out now. It just sounds Hinky.

I know after going after High Value Targets during my last tour...I had a very hard time integrating back into life as I still do. SO I'm sure the "Shooter" could be having major issues...to the point where he had to leave the service. BUT...I also know that Spec Ops in all the services have a tendency to keep their "Operators" in other jobs if they need a break. They place too much money into training to just "Let them go". Something more has to be under the surface!

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BUT...I also know that Spec Ops in all the services have a tendency to keep their "Operators" in other jobs if they need a break. They place too much money into training to just "Let them go". Something more has to be under the surface!

Thats what I'm screaming. 16 years in, he must be a SNCO, we can't find him a staff job somewhere? I knew guys who were grunts for 15 years and spent their last 8 in the air wing in a supervisory/leadership role. I know a Ranger who got to pal around with the Secretary of Defense for 2 years. He can't be someone's "advisor" or "liaison" for a while? The article makes it sound like ST6 deployment until death or bust.

Edited by TaiidanTomcat
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At Ft Bragg the "Operators" who are having issues or injured, and as long as their Psyche profile is ok, go onto Instructor positions or other positions where they could be needed. Heck...they've had a blind SF officer, an operator with 2 prosthetic legs and others with varied injuries in such positions. So for the "Shooter" to leave the Navy...something else must have happened. Altho...some people do get fed up and leave. Not unknown to happen at all. I would love to know the entire story...I'm sure it's a better read than what Esquire" printed.

I just wish the "Shooter" good luck in all he endeavors!

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Thats what I'm screaming. 16 years in, he must be a SNCO, we can't find him a staff job somewhere? I knew guys who were grunts for 15 years and spent their last 8 in the air wing in a supervisory/leadership role. I know a Ranger who got to pal around with the Secretary of Defense for 2 years. He can't be someone's "advisor" or "liaison" for a while? The article makes it sound like ST6 deployment until death or bust.

I can't answer for this guy, but I'll tell you this from my point of view. Some folks just aren't interested in sitting behind a desk.

Personally, I spent about five years active duty on tanks. This was followed by several years in the National Guard and Army Reserve. After coming off active duty I spent about a year in a reserve intel unit before getting out to go into the National Guard as infantry. I hated the time I spent in that intel unit behind a desk. Despised it. Fortunately I was able to ride out my time there and re-enlist my way out to a combat arms unit. If I hadn't been able to get a combat arms slot I'd have gotten out rather than continue on in that intel slot. My feelings were that I joined the Army to soldier, not sit behind a desk. The time I spent at tank gunnery, on the ranges, in FTX's and other field problems, NTC deployments etc. is the time that I remember most fondly from my time as a soldier.

Granted, intel and all those other support types are just as vital to success of operations. I am not trying to make light of the importance of those people and their jobs, but it just wasn't my bag. This could be because of my prior experience in combat arms. I felt I was not cut out for the desk environment. Maybe this guy feels the same way.

Now I sit behind a desk most of the time in the civilian sector, and still I value the time I spend in the field during installations just like when I was in the Army.

Perhaps this guy was destined for a desk job and made a conscious decision to get out. Maybe he was not stable. Any number of things could be possible in this scenario. Perhaps he just couldn't stand the thought of riding a desk. I've seen it happen. There are still a lot of gray areas in this article.

Edited by JasonW
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At Ft Bragg the "Operators" who are having issues or injured, and as long as their Psyche profile is ok, go onto Instructor positions or other positions where they could be needed. Heck...they've had a blind SF officer, an operator with 2 prosthetic legs and others with varied injuries in such positions. So for the "Shooter" to leave the Navy...something else must have happened. Altho...some people do get fed up and leave. Not unknown to happen at all. I would love to know the entire story...I'm sure it's a better read than what Esquire" printed.

I just wish the "Shooter" good luck in all he endeavors!

exactly thats why i suggested Coronado.

I can't answer for this guy, but I'll tell you this from my point of view. Some folks just aren't interested in sitting behind a desk.

Personally, I spent about five years active duty on tanks. This was followed by several years in the National Guard and Army Reserve. After coming off active duty I spent about a year in a reserve intel unit before getting out to go into the National Guard as infantry. I hated the time I spent in that intel unit behind a desk. Despised it. Fortunately I was able to ride out my time there and re-enlist my way out to a combat arms unit. If I hadn't been able to get a combat arms slot I'd have gotten out rather than continue on in that intel slot. My feelings were that I joined the Army to soldier, not sit behind a desk. The time I spent at tank gunnery, on the ranges, in FTX's and other field problems, NTC deployments etc. is the time that I remember most fondly from my time as a soldier.

Granted, intel and all those other support types are just as vital to success of operations. I am not trying to make light of the importance of those people and their jobs, but it just wasn't my bag. This could be because of my prior experience in combat arms. I felt I was not cut out for the desk environment. Maybe this guy feels the same way.

Now I sit behind a desk most of the time in the civilian sector, and still I value the time I spend in the field during installations just like when I was in the Army.

Perhaps this guy was destined for a desk job and made a conscious decision to get out. Maybe he was not stable. Any number of things could be possible in this scenario. Perhaps he just couldn't stand the thought of riding a desk. I've seen it happen. There are still a lot of gray areas in this article.

I hear ya, its just in esquire he makes a big issue of not wanting to carry a weapon anymore. If he is just done done done with all of it and is ready to GTFO, then thats fine, but you are leaving 4 short of 20. and you need 20 to get a pension. So... here we are.

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Tomcat...No...if you're considered combat wounded and disabled due to combat...you do not need 20 for a pension. How it works now is that even before you get out...the military can send your paperwork to the joint governing body that determines Disability. This body determines the percentage of disability for VA compensation but also if you're even considered disabled. IF they say yes...the particular service will determine how much you're disabled for that particular service. The VA can say one percentage and the service another. The VA will take all your claimed disabilities into consideration...the service only which ones that are service connected. If the "Shooters" back and vision are called into play...they could be combat related which would give him a VA and military percentage. He can't get paid over 75% for the service if he didn't get past 15 years. But since he did 16...he can get a pro-rate for 16 years. BUT...he could get up to 100% from the VA if the VA deems they're service related and fits the criteria.

So...depending on how he left the service depends on what he gets. No one is supposed to leave the service anymore if they have claim, without putting in for a claim. I say supposed too...sometimes people get screwed. Sometimes they opt out of service while their claim is still in the processing stage and won't find out for awhile.

I do hope the "Shooter" is taken care of if he indeed has issues as he claims. Only time and another story will tell.

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It's unfortunate that the article is presented but the reporting as representing one individual and losing the point it's trying to make. It should also focus on the many other ex-service personnel who are having difficulty, without assistance, transitioning from military to civilian life. It seems helping out those who are put into harms way means little. I've seen and met Afghanistan vets on the streets cause it's cheaper just to throw them under the carpet than to spend money helping them on PTSD and other ill effects of combat. It's ashame how vets are now treated and the lack of awareness of this troubling trend.

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