CAMP DWYER, Afghanistan -- Spc. Jaime Adame carried the young girl across the airfield, her tiny, gauze-wrapped body cradled in a polyester blanket, his camouflage rippling in the winds of the waiting Blackhawk.
"What's wrong?" shouted Staff Sgt. Christopher Meece, the crew chief, above the roar of the helicopter as Adame handed him the child.
"Another one," he said grimly.
Amid the ruinous injuries from roadside bomb blasts and gunshot wounds typical of this war lies a hidden horror facing the air ambulance teams operating across Afghanistan. All too often they are called to pick up and treat cases of violent abuse -- typically of women and children like 2-year-old Razia.
Worse, the medevac crews worry that the high number of abuse cases are more than just the consequence of a conservative society with strong patriarchal traditions -- they worry the high number of cases are part of a strategy.
SUBSCRIBE AND FOLLOW
Get top stories and blog posts emailed to me each day. Newsletters may offer personalized content or advertisements.Learn more