American Veteran: How 'The Reaper' made peace with the aftermath of war
As an Army Ranger, Sgt. Nick Irving earned the nickname "The Reaper" while serving as a sniper in Iraq and Afghanistan, but he struggled to come to terms with civilian life once he left the military.
In commemoration of Veteran’s Day, the American Homefront Project collaborated with the PBS documentary series American Veteran and the companion podcast, American Veteran: Unforgettable Stories, to profile men and women who have served in the U.S military.
Sgt. Nick Irving made a name for himself as a special operations sniper in the Army’s 3rd Ranger Battalion. He deployed six times to Iraq and Afghanistan, earning a reputation as one of the deadliest Army Rangers in military history.
“Our job set is very focused,” Irving recalled. “We have a list of guys, bad guys, that we have to kill or capture, and we don’t stop until we knock out as much of that list as we possibly can.”
But once he left the war zones behind, civilian life was far less straightforward. Irving shared how he found his calling in the military and beyond.
Nick Irving was recorded by Insignia Films for GBH.
This story was produced by the American Homefront Project, a public media collaboration that reports on American military life and veterans.
Funding for the American Homefront Project comes from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
Fundingfor American Veteran was provided by the Wexner Family Charitable Fund, Battelle, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, JPMorgan Chase &Co., and Analog Devices.