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

  • New info on Clinton's collusion wiht Israel
    Electronic Intifada - “I’ll back you and protect you, I’m your guy … it’s very upsetting … all the Arabs are the same,” US President Bill Clinton told Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak in a 19 July 2000 meeting during the failed Camp David summit with Palestinian Authority president Yasser Arafat.Only months earlier, in March 2000, Clinton displayed the same […]
  • Deer Isle's model worker cooperative
    Community Wealth - Beloved for its charming landscapes and fresh lobster, the rural community of Deer Isle, Maine is now gaining attention in the cooperative world. When Verne and Sandra Seile, proprietors of Burnt Cove Market, V&S Variety and Pharmacy, and The Galley, decided to retire last year, they sold their businesses to their employees. With 62 ne […]
  • Bringing comic books into classrooms
    NY Times - When fifth graders at P.S. 124 in Brooklyn were given a sneak peek last winter of “Theseus and the Minotaur,” a retelling of the classic Greek myth by the French writer and cartoonist Yvan Pommaux, they immediately took to the tale, their teacher, Daniel Tandarich, said. And why not? The book, the first from Toon Graphics, is filled with gruesomel […]
  • Foois' goal
    Sam Smith, 2004 - During the Cold War someone defined the difference between the major parties this way:In America everything is permitted that is not prohibited.In Germany everything is prohibited that is not permitted.In France everything is permitted even though it is prohibited.In Russia everything is prohibited even though it is permitted.One of the iro […]
  • Hollywood revenues hit 8 year low
    Hollywood Reporter  -To understand the upside-down summer at the box office, consider that Sony's 22 Jump Street, made for about $50 million, ended up grossing nearly as much in North America as The Amazing Spider-Man 2, the studio's $200 million-plus tentpole that represents the type of movie on which Hollywood long has relied to drive summer slat […]
  • GOP drug czar saw nothing wrong with beheading dealers
    LA Times, 1989 - William J. Bennett, federal drug policy coordinator, said Thursday night he had no moral qualms about beheading convicted drug dealers."Morally, I don't have any problem with that at all," Bennett said when asked on the CNN program "Larry King Live" call-in television show, whether he would support Saudi Arabian-styl […]
  • HRC backs GMO
    Nation of Change - In her June 25 keynote address to the BIO International Convention in San Diego, Calif., Hillary Clinton voiced strong support for genetic engineering and genetically engineered crops. She earned a standing ovation that day by stating that the biotech industry suffers from a public perception problem and that it just needs “a better vocabu […]
  • Rightwing group protests Labor Day
    Danny Westneat, Seattle Times - Just when it seemed the right wing couldn’t get any more divorced from reality around here, a local conservative group has launched a protest against what it sees as a pernicious cultural touchstone.Yes, bittersweet old Labor Day — the first Monday in September, the holiday that’s been around for generations and is known to mo […]
  • Vatican doesn't like its progressive nuns
    Time - In 2014 there were just 49,883 religious Catholic sisters in the United States, down 13% percent from 2010 according to figures from the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate... That is a 72% decline since 1965.Because nuns don’t brag about all of the good that they do or hashtag how awesome they are on Facebook, many people have no idea about […]
  • Recovered history
     ‏@RyanMorden - 82 years ago the Norris-LaGuardia Act was signed into law. It strengthened worker's rights. It was passed and signed by the GOP […]
  • Latino links
    Latino news American Latino Redux New America Media National Institute for Latino Policy […]
  • Born again economics
    From 50 years of our overstocked archives Sam Smith, 2005 - While a lot of attention is being paid to evangelical Christian extremism, far less is directed towards an equally dangerous religious sect - the practitioners of evangelical economic extremism. Although the latter faith is not often regarded as an actual religion, it has far more in common with eva […]
  • Department of Good Stuff: Urban bike projects
    Sustainable Cities reports on: Copenhagen’s non-stop bike commute.Portland’s car-free bridgeMelbourne’s elevated bike superhighwayHangzhou’s dedicated bike lanes […]
  • Obama fails to achieve Gitmo promises
    NY Times - Although President Obama pledged last year to revive his efforts to close Guantánamo, his administration has managed to free just one low-level prisoner this year, leaving 79 who are approved for transfer to other countries. It has also not persuaded Congress to lift its ban on moving the remaining 70 higher-level detainees to a prison inside the […]
  • Word
    Habit is habit, and not to be flung out of the window by any man, but coaxed down the stairs one step at a time -- Mark Twain. […]