Yesterday, NPR published an excerpt of the upcoming book, “Code Name: Johnny Walker,” along with an interview of the author, an Iraqi Navy SEAL interpreter who served the U.S. military for several years during the early portion of the American invasion of Iraq. The interpreter, whose nickname comes from his love for American culture – and American alcoholic beverages – worked admirably until his and his family’s lives came under threat.
After applying for a Special Immigrant Visa in 2006, “Johnny” expected to come to the United States within months. He planned to continue working with the SEALs in other capacities upon arriving in America, and had the support of all of his former military leaders and comrades. But “Johnny” wasn’t approved for an SIV until 2009 – three years after he first applied.
The NPR article and soon-to-be-released memoir go into great detail about the needs of SIV applicants, and why in most cases they simply do not have the ability to wait three years to leave home. IRAP thanks “Johnny” for his service to the United States, and encourages Congress and the State Department to continue looking for ways to expedite the SIV application process.