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The sorrel horse with two Purple Hearts
June 24, 2011 11:19 PM   Subscribe

Sgt. Reckless--Pride of the Marines The only Korean War horse hero--working for oats and peppermints. Her complete and awesome story from Leatherneck Magazine. Sometimes you just gotta have a feel-good moment.

and a Good Conduct medal.

Reckless was sold to the Marines by a young Korean in order for him to afford to purchase an artificial leg for his wounded sister. You couldn't make up a story like this one.

Reckless has her own website, her own book, her own song, (more photos) AND a fan club!

Furst post, please be gentle.
posted by BlueHorse (17 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite

 
Well, I loved this story. I sent the links to my brother who fought in Korea. It seems a little sad that the human veterans of the Korean War, similarly, have been almost overlooked. There is a monument on the Mall in Washington of soldiers who seem like ghostly figures coming through the trees, or at least that's what the pictures look like. I wonder how many other stories there are which, like this one, have been all but forgotten. Nice post.
posted by Anitanola at 12:04 AM on June 25, 2011


The trust of the animal is greater than the trust of Man, which is usually less deserving.
posted by Mblue at 2:08 AM on June 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


Great video of Reckless! I read the Leatherneck story braced for something awful. I'm so glad she got to live out her life loved and at peace.
posted by dogrose at 3:25 AM on June 25, 2011


Oh, I love this story! Thank you for posting it!
posted by DarlingBri at 3:55 AM on June 25, 2011


I have something in my eye. If I didn't have some serious packing to do today, I'd go right out to the barn and ride.
posted by bilabial at 6:38 AM on June 25, 2011


So cool, a FB friend shared the video earlier this week. It makes me happy that it is making the rounds.
posted by Calzephyr at 6:48 AM on June 25, 2011


I was in Korea,a 1950 , but not in the marines and did not meet up with that great hero. The monument in DC for Korean War is of life-size statutes of many soldiers...very stark and very moving. See it if you get to DC!
posted by Postroad at 7:11 AM on June 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


I had occasion to come across a memorial for Sgt. Reckless at the Stepp Stables, Camp Pendleton, Oceanside CA. Here is a nice video 21 September 1967 of Sgt. Reckless, 1st Marine Division taken at the stables there while eating hay.
posted by wallstreet1929 at 8:01 AM on June 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm not surprised she was a Mongolian horse. They've been bred for centuries to be tractable and useful to humans, and are very tough. Living life with Marines was probably not so different from life with Mongolian nomads. The horses are also supposed to be very good foragers, which apparently explains Reckless' iron stomach. Thanks for the great story this morning.
posted by oneirodynia at 9:02 AM on June 25, 2011


Well, I loved this story. I sent the links to my brother who fought in Korea. It seems a little sad that the human veterans of the Korean War, similarly, have been almost overlooked. There is a monument on the Mall in Washington of soldiers who seem like ghostly figures coming through the trees, or at least that's what the pictures look like. I wonder how many other stories there are which, like this one, have been all but forgotten. Nice post.

My grandfather is on that wall. He even took a picture of himself with the photo that was used for the wall, pointing to it on the wall.

There's a lifetime of stories with him, one soldier.
posted by Malice at 9:11 AM on June 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Heartwarming story.
posted by galadriel at 11:39 AM on June 25, 2011


Great story.
posted by COD at 4:01 PM on June 25, 2011


I couldn't help but wonder how many of those marching around at the horse's promotion ceremonies were thinking "A promotion ceremony for a horse.. where is MY promotion ceremony?" I imagine it must have felt kind of painful, but perhaps that kind of thinking is drilled out of you..
posted by bleep at 6:17 PM on June 25, 2011


Great furst post. Thanks!
posted by homunculus at 6:35 PM on June 25, 2011


This post + PMS=a rather soggy handkerchief
posted by anotherkate at 8:23 PM on June 25, 2011


I couldn't help but wonder how many of those marching around at the horse's promotion ceremonies were thinking "A promotion ceremony for a horse.. where is MY promotion ceremony?" I imagine it must have felt kind of painful, but perhaps that kind of thinking is drilled out of you..

Most likely, these marines were thankful that they had her. She provided a service in lieu of having to have one of their brothers in arms doing it. I don't necessarily condone that, but in the heat of battle I could see how they would rather want the horse doing one of the more dangerous job than them. She probably saved a lot of lives.

So no, I don't think they had much problem with all the ceremonies.
posted by Malice at 11:31 PM on June 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


I couldn't help but wonder how many of those marching around at the horse's promotion ceremonies were thinking "A promotion ceremony for a horse.. where is MY promotion ceremony?"

bleep, no offense, but it sounds like you don't work beside animals. When police dogs or horses are recognized for service, I don't typically hear any men in blue complaining that it should have been them...

A service animal's devotion to duty is often absolute. It's the way of the creature, chosen and bred for unquestioning obedience. It is inspiring, because as humans, we can't live up to that kind of total commitment... Our service is one of choice, made daily, but fraught with indecision, doubt, and desires for personal gain; a different creature are we.
posted by IAmBroom at 1:53 PM on June 27, 2011


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