The American Dream of ‘Johnny Walker,’ Chris Kyle’s Iraqi Interpreter

The Daily Signal | 3/28/2019 | Staff
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How did an Iraqi interpreter for the U.S. military get the code name Johnny Walker?

Walker, who became a U.S. citizen last week, worked with legendary American sniper Chris Kyle and other U.S. special operations forces in Iraq beginning in 2003. The nickname sprang out of that experience.

Walker - English - US - Mission - Iraq

At first, Walker says in fairly good English, he enjoyed helping the U.S. mission in Iraq because it meant making more money and gaining prestige.

“One time the American convoy gave me a ride to my house,” Walker, 54, tells The Daily Signal, “and my wife, my family, all of them they went outside and they just wanted to be proud. ‘Oh, this is my son, this is my husband.’”

Navy - SEALs - Walker - Phone - Interview

But after he began working with Navy SEALs, Walker says in a phone interview, he began to agree with what the Americans believed and were trying to achieve. He also saw how the Americans were helping his own people.

“I saw that when we had few targets, and then saw how much the bad guys [were] hiding explosive RPGs, you name it, on the houses in the middle of the civilians,” Walker says, referring to rocket-propelled grenades.

People - Country - Country - Weapon - Things

“And it’s like, those people, they are not going to build [a] country. You will never build country with weapon. And this is where things changed from money, from dream, to something. I believe I have to do the right things.”

Walker is the author, with Jim DeFelice, of the 2014 book “Code Name: Johnny Walker: The Extraordinary Story of the Iraqi Who Risked Everything to Fight with the U.S. Navy SEALs.” DeFelice also helped Kyle write his best-selling book, “American Sniper.”

Walker - Journey - Hometown - Mosul - Iraq

Walker’s own journey began in his hometown of Mosul, in northern Iraq. Growing up, he says, he had only one dream.

“I wanted to have a small, wood house...
(Excerpt) Read more at: The Daily Signal
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