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In this unforgettable memoir, the Navy SEALs’ most trusted translator—a man who is credited with saving countless American lives and became a legend in the special-ops community—tells his inspiring story for the first time.
As the insurgency in Iraq intensified following the American invasion, U.S. Navy SEALs were called upon to root terrorists from their lairs. Unsure of the local neighborhoods and unable to speak the local languages, they came to rely on one man to guide them and watch their backs. He was a "terp"—an interpreter—with a job so dangerous they couldn't even use his real name.
They named him Johnny Walker. They soon called him brother. Over the course of eight years, the Iraqi native traveled around the country with nearly every SEAL and special operations unit deployed there. He went on thousands of missions, saved dozens of SEAL and other American lives, and risked his own daily. Helped to the U.S. by the SEALs he protected, Johnny Walker's life is so remarkable that his tale reads like fiction. But every word of it is true.
For the first time ever, a "terp" tells what it was like in Iraq during the American invasion and the brutal insurgency that followed. With inside details on SEAL operations and a humane understanding of the tragic price paid by ordinary Iraqis, Code Name: Johnny Walker reveals a side of the war that has never been told before.
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.