[Tuttle got a break from the overcrowding on the transport ship, conversing with what turned out to be the only woman on board.]
The evening sun was almost on the water. Its direct and reflected light put a studio-grade golden light upon her calm face. Mrs. Cyrille Simms was a club singer in St. Louis before the war, while working her way through school. She volunteered to me being 24 when the war started. She finally signed up just a year or so ago, got her military training, tended maimed soldiers in Hawaii for a while, and was here for her first big live shootout.
With over 1500 men on this ship, doing everything from hauling equipment around to nervous pacing on dark decks, there was a likely need for medical attention in the week long span we could be embarked. Once all the men from our ship were ashore, she would go after them to a division field hospital, or transfer to a hospital ship if needed. Either location was expected to be busy.
She spoke idly about her adventures so far, while staring out over the sea toward a blank spot north of the setting sun. I heard tales of woe and loss, senseless loss, which if they had affected her she wasn’t letting on. She was here to do a job, ready to see it through, and as matter-of-fact about it as the most hardened master sergeant.