War in the Garden of Eden

A Military Chaplain's Memoir from Baghdad

Frank E. Wismer III

Oct/2008, 192 Pages, PAPERBACK, 5.5 x 8.5

ISBN-13: 9781596271036



A behind-the-scenes look at life in Baghdad, Iraq, during the months following the invasion in 2003. Wismer, a recently retired Army colonel and chaplain, has spent many years in the Middle East, beginning with Operation Desert Storm. His memoir not only reveals the daily drama of war, it also raises salient questions about U.S. strategy regarding the “war on terror.”

This book also looks at the dynamic interaction of major faith groups within Iraq, and the religious heritage of the “cradle of civilization” as applied to the strategic implication of global terrorism. The author’s views are insightfully recorded and influenced by his many calls to duty, which have also taken him to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Haiti, Bosnia, and Kuwait.

More than a first-hand account of military life during the turbulent period immediately after the assault by coalition forces, War in the Garden of Eden also explores the inner workings of the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) from a soldier’s perspective, the daily life of personnel assigned to the CPA, and some of the many decisions made, under constant life-threatening situations, to establish peace and stability in the country during the ground war.


Frank E. Wismer III is an Episcopal priest of 34 years. Colonel Wismer (ret.) served in the U.S. Army Reserve from 1982 to 2008. He has been deployed to Operation Desert Storm (Saudi Arabia), Joint Task Force Gitmo (Guantanamo Bay, Cuba), Haiti, Bosnia, Iraq, and Kuwait. He served as the senior chaplain for the Coalition Provision Authority from April 2003 to May 2004. His awards include the Bronze Star Medal and the Combat Action Badge. He lives in Clayton, Delaware.

"Wismer undoubtedly will bring some readers to tears while he will anger others as he chronicles his experiences in Iraq between 2003 and 2004, when he served as senior chaplain for the Coalition Provisional Authority, and reflects on the U.S. Administration's actions since then.

Wismer, whose awards include the Bronze Star Medal and the Combat Action Bade, passes on to readers many lessons he learned while in Iraq."—Episcopal Life

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