She Wasn’t a Horse, She was a Marine


Reckless, a small chestnut mare barely 900 pounds, was purchased by the 77mm Recoilless Rifle Platoon of the 5th Marine Regiment for the purpose of carrying ammunition in tough mountainous terrain during the Korean War. She was named Reckless after the platoon’s nickname, “Reckless Rifles.” So began the stellar military career of Sergeant Reckless, who won the hearts of the soldiers with her brave and steadfast service under fire.


The Marines taught Reckless battlefield survival skills such as how not to become entangled in barbed wire and to lie down when under fire.  She even learned to run for a bunker upon hearing the cry, “incoming!” Reckless would only need someone to show her a new supply route a few times, afterwards she would make the trips on her own, even under enemy fire. She quickly became part of the unit and was allowed to roam freely through camp, entering the marines' tents, where she would sleep on cold nights, and was quite famous for her willingness to eat nearly anything, including scrambled eggs, beer, coca-cola and, once, about $30 worth of poker chips.


It was during the Battle of Outpost Vegas, that Reckless showed why she was worthy of being called a marine.   On that day in March of 1953, Reckless made fifty-one trips to resupply the units on the front line, completely unassisted and alone, with enemy fire coming in at a rate of five hundred rounds per minute.  Throughout the course of that day, she covered a total distance of more than thirty-five miles and hauled over 9000 pounds of ammunition.   With every trip up the mountain to deliver arms, she’d bring down wounded soldiers.  Even though she was twice injured by shrapnel, she never quit.  




Source:  Wikipedia, KET, and The Campfire Chronicles

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