Categorized | History, National

Veterans Day– and the Story of Reckless

 

 

A Veteran Horse Hero You Never Knew Of 

(VIDEO)

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

You’ve heard of the famous racing ones:  Seabiscuit,
Secretariat, and War Admiral.  But there’s one horse–
a military hero– that you haven’t heard.  It’s the story of
Reckless,
the little chestnut Mongolian mare.

Reckless was a pack horse during the Korean War and she carried recoilless rifles, ammunition and supplies to Marines.  This by itself wasn’t too unusual; lots of animals were pressed into service doing pack chores in many wars before Korea.

But Reckless did something more.

During the battle for a location called Outpost Vegas in 1953, this mare made 51 trips up and down the hill.  On the way up, she carried ammunition.  On the way down, she carried wounded soldiers.
 
What was so amazing about that?

She made every one of those trips without anyone leading her.  Relentless artillery rounds fell around at her at the rate of 500 per hour.  The fighting was so intense that only two men made it out alive without wounds.

We can imagine a horse carrying a wounded soldier, being smacked on the rump at the top of the hill, and heading back to the “safety” of the rear.  It’s harder, though,  to imagine the same horse loaded down with ammunition trudging back to the chaotic battlefield under enemy fire and exploding heavy artillery. 

Making 51 of those trips in the blazing battle is unheard of.  How many horses would even make it back once, let alone return to the soldiers in the field?  Reckless did it without fail, every single time, on her own.

Reckless walked 35 miles  and carried 9,000 pounds of equipment that day, and while exhausted and wounded twice, she kept her duty transporting the wounded faithfully throughout.  Many men survived because of her fearless actions.
 
She became a national hero, covered by Life magazine and the Saturday Evening Post.  She was promoted by the Marines
to the rank of Sergeant and later, Staff Sergeant, in her
career.

After the Korean War, Reckless was brought back to the United States in 1954.  She retired at the Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base in 1960 where her commanding General issued the following order:  “She was never to carry any more weight on her back except her own blankets.”

Reckless died in 1968 at the age of 20 as a full-fledged Marine with full military honors. 

Reckless’ decorations included two Purple Hearts, Good Conduct Medal, Presidential Unit Citation with star, National Defense Service Medal, Korean Service Medal, United Nations Service Medal, and a Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation, all of which she proudly wore on her scarlet and
gold blanket.

She was quite a courageous and hardworking gal, fondly looked after and loved by her unit.   Lieutenant General Randolph M. Pate reminisced later:

“I first saw this little lady when the First Marine Division was in reserve for a brief period.

I was surprised at her beauty and intelligence, and believe it or not, her esprit de corps. Like any other Marine, she was enjoying a bottle of beer with her comrades.

She was constantly the center of attraction and was fully aware of her importance.  If she failed to receive the attention she felt her due, she would deliberately walk into a group of Marines and, in effect, enter the conversation.  It was obvious the Marines loved her.”

There’s a great deal more to the story of Reckless.  If you’d like to read more of her amazing and forgotten story here’s the best and detailed article that we could find, located in the Marines Leatherneck magazine archives  of 1992.

It’s a very good read.

Please feel free to  pass this story onto others–  fellow Veterans, friends, and equestrians.

* * * * * * * * * *

Thank you for your service, Veterans.  This story is for you– and to veterans Patrick, James, and Jacob of Medford.

5 Responses to “Veterans Day– and the Story of Reckless”

  1. robin hutton says:

    Please visit the Sgt Reckless website – http://www.SgtReckless.com. Also join her Facebook Fan club or like her Facebook page to be kept up with the latest developments. There will be a memorial dedicated to her next summer, July 2013, and I have written a book and screenplay on her as well. So if you are a fan, please join or like to learn more! Thanks for the great article!

  2. Skippy says:

    Thank you, Robin. Reckless’ story is a fascinating and interesting one alright, one that we enjoyed doing. The story is being passed around our horse community now, I understand.

    Interested readers can also find out more at your site that you mentioned: SgtReckless.com. It will make for a good book and movie– it’s a great story wanting to be told.

    Congratulations, good luck, and best of wishes to you, Robin.

  3. Sheila says:

    The horse community and others love this story. She was an amazing horse indeed. Cannot wait to see a movie about her. Try asking Joe Camp (Benji creator) if he could help you do the movie… Good Luck!

    • Anne says:

      I didn’t wear combat boots but a sailor’s cap instead. That still count? I did check into joining the Army reserve lately and they won’t take a single parent.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. [...] If you enjoyed this story, you might like Reckless, The Mongolian Mare [...]


Leave a Reply

HumSentinel on Twitter

RSS Progressive Review

  • Obamacare: the good, the bad, the unpredictable & the dangerously unknown
    From 50 years of our overstocked archives  Sam Smith, 2012 -  If you're having a hard time figuring out what the real status of Obamacare is, don't feel badly What you are seeing in the current news coverage and debate is another reflection of of the dysfunctional state of our leadership class, a dysfunction driven in no small part by the fact that […]
  • Report: CIA Agents Impersonated Senate Staffers To Spy On Senate Computers
    Yahoo - New details about CIA spying on the U.S. Senate suggest agents impersonated Senate Intelligence Committee staffers to access computers used to compile a report about the agency’s post-9/11 torture and imprisonment techniques. Citing “sources familiar with the CIA inspector general report,” which remains classified, one Senate source told the Huffingt […]
  • Real economics: New home sales hit 6 year high
    New home sales increased just 0.2 percent in September, and a big increase for August was revised considerably downward. Despite the slow growth, September marked the highest level for new home sales in six years. […]
  • Entropy update: baseball
    NY Times- On Tuesday night, the first game of the 2014 World Series drew just 12.2 million viewers to Fox, making it the lowest-rated Game 1 on record. Game 2 on Wednesday night fared somewhat better, with 12.9 million people tuning in.For most of the last century, the start of baseball’s World Series — with its red, white and blue bunting and occasional cer […]
  • Real economics: no retirement funds for middle class
    Time - The average middle class American has only $20,000 in retirement savings, according to a new survey that shows large swathes of the public are aware of those shortfalls and feeling anxious about their golden years.Wells Fargo surveyed more than 1,000 middle class Americans about the state of their savings plans. Roughly two-thirds of respondents said […]
  • A speech CSPAN didn't like
     From 50 years of our overstocked archivesSam Smith[C-SPAN broadcast in 1999 the first rally in opposition to the Bosnian war with one exception: your editor's speech. C-SPAN even left in the part where a singer announced, "I'm the warm-up act for Sam Smith" but the speech itself was cut. Here's the speech.]I am a native of this plac […]
  • Pocket paradigms
    Even the best politics are a pretty poor substitute for life and the worst politics compound their felony by forcing us to leave the front stoop to do something about them. Our quarrel with the abuse of power should be not only be that it is cruel and stupid but that it takes so much time way from other things -- like loving and being loved, and music, and a […]
  • Is there love off line?
    Baltimore Sun - Towson University professor Andrew Reiner is concerned that the desire to be "liked" online has bled into the real-life interactions of some of his students. He wants to change that.Reiner, a lecturer in English in Towson's Honors College, says students sometimes pretend to send text messages when they are alone out of fear tha […]
  • Word; Journalism
    You cannot hope to bribe or twist/Thank God the British journalist/ But seeing what the man will do/ Unbribed, there is no occasion to -- Humbert Wolfe A journalist is a man who has missed his calling -- Bismarck Drunkards, deadbeats and bummers -- Harvard president Charles Eliot's description of reporters in rejecting Joseph Pulitzer's offer to en […]
  • Being tasered may affect ability to exercise legal rights
    Mad in America - After they have been hit by a taser, most people experience a significant diminishing in their memory and cognitive functions for up to an hour, according to an unpublished study discussed in Live Science. The researchers said that the impacts were serious enough to raise into doubt whether people who’ve been tasered will understand their le […]
  • Good Stuff: Ranked choice voting
    Fair Vote:Since adoption of ranked choice voting, Oakland winners earn more votes: Of the 18 Oakland offices elected by RCV in 2010 and 2012, the winner had more votes than the winner of the previous non-RCV election in 16 of them. This is a common pattern in RCV elections that avoid electing winners in low-turnout June primaries or December runoffs.Fewer vo […]
  • Recovered history: The real Clinton story
    Things the media forgets to tell you about the Clintons and the state that made them.1976 Bill Clinton is elected attorney general of Arkansas. Two Indonesian billionaires come to Arkansas. Mochtar Riady and Liem Sioe Liong are close to Suharto. Riady is looking for an American bank to buy. Finds Jackson Stephens with whom he forms Stephens Finance. Stephens […]
  • War on the Constitution update
    Off the Charts   - The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities,  AARP, the AFL-CIO, Consumers Union, and ten other national organizations have written to the U.S. Trade Representative asking that Medicare, Medicaid, and other health programs be excluded from the investor-state dispute settlement provisions of pending trade agreements. ISDS would give compani […]
  • Links: Action
    Action news How to plan your own Moral Monday Building peace teams Cellphone guide for protesters Why we need history   Corporations that have deserted the US for tax purposes  BURGER KINGBOYCOTTS Israel  Academic/Cultural Koch Brothers Nestle North Face Staples Walmart Monsanto   ACTIONS Detroit Water Brigade Moral Mondays Tar Sands protests Occupy ACLU Bad […]
  • Stats: Population growth
    CRAIG CRAWFORD […]