One day, we were helping out the regulars with a Hotel-Kilo patrol mission. We used to call it “ill will patrol”.

We received coordinance over the radio to go visit a five boat fishing village near a mountain about two, three hours from where we were.

They said the satellite indicated unknown activity in the area.

We got there a little after noon. The village was still smoldering. The village was DOA, it seemed. We secured the perimeter and looked for survivors. We found one. She was barely breathing and she was in bad shape.

Our boss arrived on the scene, he flew in. The satellite image was disturbing enough to raise concerns. He came over to see for himself.

We couldn’t find a vein. Our boss hit it the first time. He said she’s not going to make it. He gave her five milligrams morphine over two minutes. Told us not to give her IV bolus, she’ll bleed to death too soon. He then turned to the interpreter to ask her who did this. She managed to tell us, bandits, several of them with dogs. Young guys from some place else, she said. They killed everyone – and she started to scream about her baby. They took the baby and fed it to their dogs. When the interpreter told us this, my boss looked at me. I nodded and turned to the sergeant. I knew what he was going to do next. To find any evidence we can catalog. As the sergeant got up to turn around, I heard one of the guys throw up and gag. He found the baby, at least parts of him.

My boss who was a surgeon and a kernel of a combat battalion, told me not to file a report. He said that he was personally going to take care of this one.

The woman died just before the chopper landed, we were told.

She about five feet tall, between 80 and 90 pounds, she was in her early twenties, dark hair and eyes, and she did have a baby. That’s about we knew of her. We didn’t even know her name.

Ill Will