Code Name: Johnny Walker: The Extraordinary Story of the Iraqi Who Risked Everything to Fight with the U.S. Navy SEALsby Johnny Walker
Night after night, he guided the U.S. Navy SEALs through Iraq's most dangerous regions. A translator operating under the code name "Johnny Walker," he risked his life on more than a thousand missions and became a legend in the U.S. special-ops community. But in the eyes of Iraq's terrorists and insurgents, he and his family were marked for death
Night after night, he guided the U.S. Navy SEALs through Iraq's most dangerous regions. A translator operating under the code name "Johnny Walker," he risked his life on more than a thousand missions and became a legend in the U.S. special-ops community. But in the eyes of Iraq's terrorists and insurgents, he and his family were marked for death because he worked with the Americans. Fearing for Johnny's safety, the SEALs heroically took it upon themselves to bring him and his family to the United States. With inside details on SEAL operations and a deeply personal understanding of the tragic price paid by ordinary Iraqis, Code Name: Johnny Walker is a gripping and unforgettable true story that reveals a side of the war that has never been told before.
Includes a new afterword on the rise of ISIS
America, as portrayed in this military memoir written by an Iraqi native with ties to U.S. command, is "a refuge and a dream," a country that stumbled into an already broken Iraq and did its best with the pieces it found. "Johnny Walker" is the code name given to the author while working with Navy SEALs as a translator and interrogator. DeFelice, best known for his work on Chris Kyle's memoir, American Sniper, co-writes Walker's tale of the war. The book is at its best when Walker reflects on the impact of the job on the life of his wife and kids. During the six years he spent allied with the Americans, Walker and his family were threatened and forced to relocate several times. However the author often strays away from his personal experience, focusing instead on the action of war. Even his primary message that the Iraq war was not caused by America is lost through the repetitive accounts of house raids. By the time Walker and his family relocate to California, the story feels less about a man who fought in secret, and more about someone who wanted and found a way out of a war torn country. (Feb.)
Committed to changing his country's government, the author worked as a translator for the U.S. military during the war, also delivering intelligence and saving lives; he's been praised by famed U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle. Today he lives in San Diego, where he trains new SEALs. With a 50,000-copy first printing.
Fiery, insightful memoir from the former Iraqi translator who fought alongside U.S. Special Forces during the recent war in Iraq. With the assistance of DeFelice (co-author: American Sniper, 2012, etc.) and writing as a first-time author under a protective pseudonym, "Johnny Walker," this Mosul-born, pro-American Muslim Iraqi relates a sometimes-biased but invaluable insider's perspective of Iraq after Saddam Hussein. After an undistinguished stint in the badly trained Iraqi army, the author made a decision early on in the 2003 conflict that to provide for his family, he would have to collaborate with the American occupying force. Although his initial attempts at obtaining work as a translator and adviser for the Americans were frustrated, he eventually caught on with the Navy SEALs. Quickly, he began to learn that being a translator also meant being a combat-ready soldier and risking his life. Things began to get seriously dangerous for "Johnny," however, when his relationship with the American forces became well-known around Mosul, which made him a potential target for assassins. This pressure to both serve his American employers and still retain close ties to his own Iraqi community is what eventually drove him to pursue his dream of immigrating to America. Throughout the book, the author gives a vivid sense of what it's like to be stuck geopolitically between a rock and a hard place: Iraqis like him rejected the tyrannical rule of Hussein but then had to endure the chaos of the destabilizing influence that the U.S.-led invasion wrought on the country. Although he defends the motives behind the American invasion, the question of whether this pre-emptive military action was an effective operation in the long run is a point he mostly evades until the end of the book. Ultimately, any national allegiances take a back seat to "Johnny's" survival instincts. Eventually, the once-impossible dream of becoming an American citizen and bringing his family to the U.S. became a hard-won reality. A harrowing personal journey of courageous self-empowerment during wartime.
- HarperCollins Publishers
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Meet the Author
After the 2003 invasion of his home country, Iraqi-born "Johnny Walker" applied to become a translator for the U.S. Army. Turned down, out of work, and desperate to feed his family, Johnny was on the verge of despair until one night he interceded in a dispute between some Iraqi women and Ameri-can MPs. Impressed, the MPs arranged to hire him as their interpreter, or "terp." Johnny displayed such talent and incredible courage under fire that several months later an elite unit of Navy SEALs took him under its wing. He quickly became the most sought-after terp in the country, receiving numerous citations and commendations for his work. Credited by SEAL sniper Chris Kyle with saving countless American lives, Johnny spent six years working with SEALs and other special operations forces throughout Iraq, completing more than one thousand missions. After narrowly escaping two attempts on his life, Johnny was helped to the United States by the SEALs in 2009. He and his family currently live in California, where he helps train special operations units.
Jim DeFelice is the co-author of Chris Kyle’s #1 New York Times bestseller American Sniper. He also is the author of Omar Bradley: General at War, the first in-depth critical biography of America’s last five-star general, and the co-author of the New York Times bestseller Code Name: Johnny Walker: The Extraordinary Story of the Iraqi Who Risked Everything to Fight with the U.S. Navy SEALs. He writes acclaimed military thrillers, including the Rogue Warrior series from Richard Marcinko, founder of SEAL Team 6, and the novels in the Dreamland series with Dale Brown.
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Really enjoyed reading about a "local" help fight for his country by helping our military and intelligence groups. He earned the praise he received from our SEALS.
This was a good read. I enjoyed the author's description of Iraq before the war, and his reasons for working with the U.S. Military.
I found the story to be spell binding. this tells of a man of Iraq who in spite of his society, religion, education was an honorable man. he was not one that was a hypocrite but recognized that what was going on in his part of the world was not Americas doings but of those who were/are nothing but barbarians. there was no "cope out "on his part. he is truly a man who wanted his country and people to have what America has. he did his job with dignity, courage, and ability. welcome to America, johnny. wish we had more like you.
could not put down.
Fantastic story! Guts and Glory! Also I recommend Hector's Juice!
Tried to give this book the benefit of the doubt that it might get better. I couldn't do it. Don't waste your money.