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Outside the Wire: A Foreign Service Officer in Southern Iraq

Danny Toma

Not everyone who serves in wartime wears a uniform. Outside the Wire is a story of one of these men, Danny Toma, a veteran Foreign Service Officer, who spent sixteen months with the Provincial Reconstruction Team in Basra, a joint State Department-U.S. Military operation in southern Iraq. Carrying out his duty alongside the 1st Infantry Division, and later the 36th ID, Toma describes in great detail the day-to-day experience of living in a war zone, from the thrill and uncertainty of enemy attack to coping with the frustration of trying to rebuild a country while others labor to tear it down. Combining humor with an attention to detail, he allows the reader to feel a part of the action and to get to know the personalities of those who were there on the ground - Americans, Iraqis, and British among them. More than just a history, it is also a tribute to the men and women, both civilian and military, who volunteered when their country called upon them and who forged a bond that the passage of time will never break.

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Danny Toma worked for over twenty-two years as a Foreign Service Officer with the U.S. Department of State, spending most of his career in Europe and the Middle East. He was the recipient of multiple Superior Honor and Meritorious Honor awards during his diplomatic career. Since retirement, he has been called back to the field on numerous occasions and has also been the author of several articles and one book dealing with foreign policy. He lives in Oxford, Mississippi with his wife, Dana, and together they have four adult children who live in Mississippi, South Carolina, and Ireland.