The following is an excerpt from retired Special Forces Warrant Officer Jim “Smokey” West’s upcoming memoir.  Learn more about Jim by checking out his website, American Extension Fighting

The village consisted of an adobe, clay, and dirt shanties surrounding the town square. The square had some restaurants around it, all featuring five-star dirt floors. There was a little religious icon or saint in the center of square like every other village in Bolivia.  I was out to buy some soap and decided to take a seat at one of the restaurants to grab some food. I took antibiotics and Imodium three times a day just to ward off the claymore shits.

A little girl who looked like she was about five, but could have actually been ten due to malnutrition in this part of the world, walked by. She looked through the window at us and smiled. I waved to her. Then she lifted her dress, squatted, and brown water sprayed out of her ass all over the street.

I remember thinking that I was probably going to die in this place.

The name of the town was Apollo and there was not a single road leading into or out of the village. If the locals had to make their way out of the village to barter or trade, they did it on horseback. As American soldiers, we were lucky to be flown in by helicopter.

Later that day I found myself back in the village square. A couple locals had tied a horse’s legs together and were holding it down. I asked the villagers what they were doing. They told me that he was a stud horse but now he was getting older so they wanted him to be a work horse. According to them, they could get more milage out of him as a work horse if they neutered him.

One of the Bolivians held a knife and slit the horse’s codbag right down the middle, pulled out one of the testicles, and tossed it into the air. Before it even hit the ground a German Shepard snatched it right out of the air in his jaws. We weren’t only not in Kansas but hardly even on planet earth anymore.

I had been deployed to Bolivia as a part of a project called Poker Puff. U.S Special Forces had been assigned the mission of conducting Counter-Insurgency and Counter-Narcotics operations in Bolivia, a country plagued by the illicit drug industry and the FARC narco-terrorists next door in Colombia.