Friday, January 20, 2012

Friday Feature: Sergeant Reckless

Reckless with the Recoilless Rifle, Courtesy of
While I normally feature an artist on Fridays, I thought that this Friday I would do something a little different. Anyone who knows me knows that I love horses. Immensely.
Anyone who knows horses knows that they are incredible creatures.
Then I heard of a horse who takes the word incredible to a whole new height.
Meet Sergeant Reckless.
She was a little Mongolian mare, sold by a Korean boy to American forces during the Korean War. The boy needed to buy a prosthetic leg for his sister , the American forces needed a horse.
She had been a racehorse, but she turned into a hero that all of us can admire, not just racing fans.
She learned how to carry loads of ammunition during battle, and to ignore the sounds of ammunition and explosions (anyone knowing horses will know how incredible that is in itself).
She learned to walk in certain directions all by herself to reach other troops. During battle.
She learned to get attention during quiet times in the most amazing ways - by eating hats, scrambled eggs, pancakes, and much more.
You can see her website, run by a fan and dedicated person who wants the world to know about this wonderful horse. The website is here: and the Facebook fan club page is here:
Still doubting the awesomeness of little Reckless?
Here is an excerpt from the Sgt Reckless website:
One of Reckless’ finest hours came during the Battle of Outpost Vegas in March of 1953.  At the time of this battle it was written that, “The savagery of the battle for the so-called Nevada Complex has never been equaled in Marine Corps history.”
Reckless Enjoying a Flower Arrangement, Courtesy of
During this five-day battle, on one day alone shemade 51 trips from the Ammunition Supply Point to the firing sites, 95% of the time by herself.  Shecarried 386 rounds of ammunition (over 9,000 pounds – almost FIVE TONS! -- of ammunition),walked over 35 miles through open rice paddies and up steep mountains with enemy fire coming in at the rate of 500 rounds per minute.  And as she so often did, she would carry wounded soldiers down the mountain to safety, unload them, get reloaded with ammo, and off she would go back up to the guns.  She also provided a shield for several Marines who were trapped trying to make their way up to the front line.  Wounded twice, she didn’t let that stop or slow her down. 
 What she did saved the lives of many, and kept the morale up of many more. For her valor she earned two Purple Hearts, Good Conduct Medal, Presidential Unit Citation with star, National Defense Service Medal, Korean Service Medal, United Nations Service Medal, and Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation, all of which she wore proudly on her red and gold blanket.

What's even better? She survived the battle, and the forces brought her back to California where she could live out her days peacefully. She had parades in her honor, and even had 3 foals. She lived to a ripe old age of 20 and was buried at Stepp Stables at Camp Pendleton.

In 1997, TIME magazine did a special collector's edition, "Celebrating Our Heroes", which chronicled the lives of many heroes, including Mother Theresa, Martin Luther King, Abraham Lincoln and many others. Among them? A 900 pound, 14.1 hand high Mongolian Mare, named Reckless. 
I salute you, Reckless.

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