Tens of thousands of Iraqis served as translators for coalition forces during the Iraq War. But only one was deemed a “bad ass” by America’s deadliest sniper.
“Code Name: Johnny Walker,” the story of that translator’s journey — catching on with U.S. forces as a way to feed his family, serving alongside Navy SEALs, and beating the odds (click the link above) to reach the U.S. — will be turned into a movie, according to multiple reports. The book, co-written by “Walker” and Jim DeFelice, is on the tail end of the New York Times best-seller list for hardcover nonfiction.
DeFelice also co-wrote “American Sniper” with former Chief Special Warfare Operator (SEAL) Chris Kyle, who is credited with more sniper kills than any U.S. military member ever. Kyle, who was shot and killed a year ago at a Texas gun range, brought up the translator during a writing session, DeFelice recalled in a blog post.
Kyle told the author that the translator was “the only Iraqi I ever trusted with a gun.” DeFelice continued:
During most of Chris’s time in Iraq, the Iraqi army was notorious for having traitors in its midst. The SEALs – and Chris – worked with them often, and they were of course armed, but there was never a high confidence factor.
“He saved my ass a bunch of times,” added Chris. “All of ours. Johnny Walker. He was a real bad ass.”
“What did he do?” I asked.
“Johnny was a terp. But he was a lot more than a terp. A lot more.”
The notion of this “Super Terp,” short for interpreter, stuck with DeFelice and led to the book, which could be coming to a theater near you in the next few years.
Kyle’s story, with Bradley Cooper attached to star and produce, also is set to reach movie houses, but there was a slight hiccup with a fairly major off-camera position.
And yes, the translator earned his nickname because of his beverage of choice. Order the book to learn more.