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Code Name: Johnny Walker: The Extraordinary Story of the Iraqi Who Risked Everything to Fight with the U.S. Navy SEALs | [Johnny Walker, Jim DeFelice]

Code Name: Johnny Walker: The Extraordinary Story of the Iraqi Who Risked Everything to Fight with the U.S. Navy SEALs

>In this illuminating and informative memoir, an Iraqi translator who risked his life working with American Sniper author Chris Kyle and the Navy SEALs tells his remarkable and inspiring story, offering a refreshing new perspective on the Iraq War. 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.
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Publisher's Summary

In this illuminating and informative memoir, an Iraqi translator who risked his life working with American Sniper author Chris Kyle and the Navy SEALs tells his remarkable and inspiring story, offering a refreshing new perspective on the Iraq War.

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 sounds 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 occupation. With inside details on SEAL operations and a humane understanding of how most civilians caught between the terrorists and the new government really felt, Code Name: Johnny Walker reveals a side of the war never told before.

©2014 Blackbeard, LLC (P)2014 HarperCollinsPublishers

What the Critics Say

"Fiery, insightful memoir from the former Iraqi translator who fought alongside U.S. Special Forces during the recent war in Iraq.... [An] invaluable insider’s perspective of Iraq.... Vivid.... A harrowing personal journey of courageous self-empowerment during wartime." (Kirkus Reviews)

What Members Say

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  •  
    CyndiB San Clemente, CA, United States 02-22-14
    CyndiB San Clemente, CA, United States 02-22-14 Member Since 2014
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    "A REMARKABLE HERO"
    Where does Code Name: Johnny Walker rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    One of the best I have ever read.


    What other book might you compare Code Name: Johnny Walker to and why?

    American Sniper, Fearless: The Undaunted Courage and Ultimate Sacrifice of Navy Seal Team Six Operator Adam Brown; No Easy Day; The Red Circle; Seal of Honor due to the selfless sacrifice, courage, honor, integrity and refusal to give up.


    What about Peter Ganim’s performance did you like?

    Great performance, accent and portrayal of a quiet unassuming hero.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    There were so many moving, tender and frightening moments. I could hardly put it down.


    Any additional comments?

    This is a book about the undaunted bravery, courage and selfless sacrifice of a true hero. During the 8 years he spent as a “terp” he untraveled countless plots against the Seals and our allies thereby saving countless lives. When Chris Kyle says he saved more lives than even Chris did that is really something. Johnny Walker is fascinatingly introspective, philosophical and complex given his ideas about religion, life, honor and integrity.

    This book is so well written that I felt like Johnny Walker was sitting in my living room and personally telling me his amazing story. From the moment I started the book I couldn’t put it down. It is so riveting it reads like fiction instead of the larger than life quiet unassuming hero that he is.

    It is an insightful look and perspective into life in war torn Iraq and the factions and insurgents. This is a different perspective than I have gotten though I have read several of the Navy Seal books. The brutality and lack of respect for life is a sad commentary of a country in turmoil. While Johnny Walker was unraveling plots against our military there were multiple assassination attempts against him and his family. His wife also demonstrated amazing strength and courage throughout the book but the trip from Mosul to the “safety” of Baghdad was especially harrowing.

    The Seals took it upon themselves to begin paving the way out for Johnny Walker in spite of his altruism for his country and desire to see growth and change in a country he loves. It eventually became obvious to Johnny that America was the best option for he and his family. I am grateful to the Seals, to Johnny and their families for the incredible sacrifice they have made for our liberty and freedom. They are not just the good among us but the finest America has to offer. The great news is that he is now living the dream and hopefully catching up on the liberty, freedom, peace and tranquility long overdue and that I know I often take for granted. I can never fully express my gratitude to Johnny Walker, the Seals and the rest of our military and their families for their sacrifice.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Noel C. Stanhope Daphne 06-05-14
    Noel C. Stanhope Daphne 06-05-14 Member Since 2012

    Mosquito Killer

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    "Outstanding and real"
    Any additional comments?

    I served in country and this was very factual and real. What I really enjoyed about this audio was the writer covered all aspects of the thought process and actions from himself or others on the team. War although not good, does really challenge on all planes of the mind.

    Great job and would reccomend it to all but especially those who have not served in combat. My only caveat is nothing can be written to replace first hand experiance from the horrors of battle.

    God Bless the Troops.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    K. Holley Alabama 02-22-14
    K. Holley Alabama 02-22-14 Member Since 2012

    Kountry Kat

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    "Not all Heros wear our uniforms"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Code Name: Johnny Walker to be better than the print version?

    The audio sounded just like what I would expect Johnny Walker to sound. I've not read the print version


    What other book might you compare Code Name: Johnny Walker to and why?

    Lone Survivor. It's intense.


    What does Peter Ganim bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The trials of the people and what it was like for them to help our military. The fact that our troops got breaks, but he didn't.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    One minute you are laughing at his broken English with all the cuss words and knowing he doesn't know what most of it means. Then how he was protecting his family and what they were going through.


    Any additional comments?

    A must read. His understanding of whats wrong in his country and how much he loves the US.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mr. Panama City, FL, United States 06-27-14
    Mr. Panama City, FL, United States 06-27-14 Member Since 2014

    Jonnie

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    "Four stars"

    You have to admire Johnny's tenacity and bravery in fighting for his country. If more Iraqis had his principles Iraq would be a different and better country. This is a good story about a good man and I enjoyed it.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thomas Sanford 04-24-14
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    "If more were like him!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Code Name: Johnny Walker to be better than the print version?

    Have not yet read the book. Audio does give the accent as one would expect to hear.


    What other book might you compare Code Name: Johnny Walker to and why?

    Service by Marcus Luttrell and Fearless: The Undaunted Courage of Navy Seal Team Six Adam Brown.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    When he risked his life to pull Seal Dan to safety. Also, his persistence to get the bad guy.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Gave a sense that my service in Iraq in 2008-2009 wasn't in vain. Just wish more Iraqis had the same attitudes towards religion and their country as he!


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karen 06-09-14
    Karen 06-09-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Not just an interpreter...inspirational individual"

    Whenever I've seen videos of U.S. troops interviewing local residents in Iraq or Afghanistan, they're usually aided by an interpreter. And so I've wondered... what is the interpreter's perspective? Code Name: Johnny Walker answers that question from the perspective of an Iraqi man who accompanied U.S. Seal teams as they searched for targets. His role was part negotiator, part investigator, and part diplomat. I came away from this book with a deep respect for "Johnny Walker" (the author's pseudonym), his skills, and his commitment to keeping his U.S. military colleagues and Iraqi residents safe. He's clearly a very intelligent man and based on mission details recounted in the book, his contribution to these U.S. military missions was invaluable. He also shares his perspective on the possibility of emigrating from Iraq to the U.S., which I found very interesting and touching.

    Peter Ganim's narration was excellent -- this audiobook felt completely enveloping. It's one of those audiobooks where the story is paired with pitch perfect narration, and it feels more like a friend recounting an interesting story than someone simply narrating a book. I found this audiobook fascinating and recommend it.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott Covington, KY, United States 09-16-14
    Scott Covington, KY, United States 09-16-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Incredible sacrifices of the Iraqi People"
    What did you love best about Code Name: Johnny Walker?

    The realistic outlook Johnny had about the invasion, that wasnt twisted by some religious dogma.And , unfortunately, the eventual realization that he couldnt stay there any longer.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Johnny was loyal to the seals, because he earned their respect they treated him with respect. There was not alot of this between Americans and Iraqis, from what I could see.


    What about Peter Ganim’s performance did you like?

    Again. I,m hyper narrator sensitive, but nobody rolls their R's this way.Otherwise very believable, added to the experience of the story.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Not really, but it was very interesting. I looked forward to listening for sure, but with the news and storyline of the book, you knew where it was going. Things are worse there now it would seem. It seemed inevitable to Johnny and I think most reasonable people after 2006-7 time frame that the landing in Iraq would be as bad as the flight, if not worse. Sadly, that has proven to be true.


    Any additional comments?

    I sincerely hope JOhnny and his family are happy and well today in 2014.They deserve it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    SaveABunny Rabbit Rescue 03-25-14 Member Since 2013
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    "An Interesting Story"
    If you could sum up Code Name: Johnny Walker in three words, what would they be?

    exciting, unbelievable, propaganda


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Code Name: Johnny Walker?

    his stuborness that ended up working well in many of the situations


    Which scene was your favorite?

    talking about meeting his wife


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    yes


    Any additional comments?

    It's a bit of a sad commentary to hear an immigrant say he acheived his American dream and loves going to the shopping mall.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pamela Dale Foster Sykesville, MD 03-25-14
    Pamela Dale Foster Sykesville, MD 03-25-14 Member Since 2011

    I listen to and have recently started to write reviews. I've found the reviews have helped me to select books.

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    "Interpreters are Terps"

    Johnny Walker, in America, is a brand of scotch, red or black label. However, in Iraq it was the name the SEALS used for an Iraqi interpreter.

    This memoir was a good read. I was happy to listen to a story that had as its protagonist an Iraqi man who understood why the American's were in Iraq. He found a good way to provide help and to earn badly needed money to support himself and his family by accepting an interpreter's job.

    Johnny lingered by the SEALS camp and was seen coming between a confrontation and settling it without anyone being hurt. He had been asked if he'd want to become a terp, by the SEALS who had witnessed the event.

    Johnny had been practicing his English, having heard that interpreter's were needed. He accepted their offer without a blink. He started work that very night. Johnny knew that American's did not hate Muslim's, their religion, customs or anything about them. They wanted to rebuild Johnny's country of Iraq, allow free and democratic elections and teach them how to fight properly as an army thus being able to protect themselves when the American's left Iraq altogether.

    However, Johnny and the SEALS knew that eventually Johnny would have to immigrate to America or bring death to himself as well as his family. Immigration was something Johnny would have to think about later. Right now, he had to go on another op with his SEAL brothers.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 01-26-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Courage of all sorts"

    Just used Johnny's story to refute ignorance about Muslims and radical jihadist. A wonderdul insight into fear desperation courage fidelity and faith. Thank you for helping bringing so many brave men home and welcome to the land of the free home of the brave.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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