This is the first of three Easy Co. stories that I'll be featuring in which our good Sergeant gets himself involved with a nurse. This one begins with Rock having the tough job of explaining to one of his men that relationships with women can be a fatal distraction on the battlefield. Johnny's girl Millie is shocked by Rock's frankness, and thinks he's cold-hearted, but the truth is he's giving the couple good advice, based on his experience.
Out on the battlefield some of Easy's members are placed in imminent danger when a 'potato masher' lands in their foxhole. Intuitively Rock smothers the blast with his helmet, saving his men but putting himself in hospital. When he wakes up he thinks he's dreaming "the 'pin-up in white' staring down at" him, but she's for real. The rest of the hospital is empty as everyone else has fallen back in response to an enemy thrust, except for Rock and his nurse, who's remained behind to tend to him. She's a Nurse-Lieutenant, so she outranks Rock, which is just as well because he's not exactly a cooperative patient. She can't stop him leaving the hospital to hold the town until Easy arrives, but as his nurse neither will she abandon him while he's still in need of treatment.
Rock pulls off his plan, as Easy arrive just in time to put the kibosh on the Nazi tank that was about to grind himself and the Lieutenant into the dirt. For a battle-hardened warrior like Rock, there are few gentle moments in life, but he experiences a rare and delightful surrender to the lips of the Nurse Lieutenant whose words, "Stop squirming like a schoolboy when you're being kissed for being a hero, Sergeant! That's an order!" leave him no option but to let down his guard. A couple of weeks later, and still with a detectable smile on his face, a fully convalesced Rock is back with Easy, having to silently digest his own axiom that war and women don't mix.
Nurse Jane Honey is a tough cookie alright, but her femininity, something that is also part of the traditional nurse image, is allowed to over-ride briefly her adherence to duty. Addressing each other only by their rank, the gritty hero and the equally heroic self-sacrificing angel have maintained the formality forced upon them by the combat situation, their feelings for each other, except for within that kiss, of necessity taking a back seat to the urgency of war.
Note: scans refurbished from those provided by bluejeff1954 and brigus.