Sgt. Reckless: A Marine, a hero, a horse

Sgt. Reckless (Source:
Sgt. Reckless (Source:
Sgt. Reckless drinking beer with U.S. Marines. (Source:
Sgt. Reckless drinking beer with U.S. Marines. (Source:

She is a forgotten hero of a forgotten war.

And when Robin Hutton, a California woman, learned the story of the horse called "Sgt. Reckless," she wanted the world to know.

Hutton, a screenwriter and producer, has spent years researching Reckless. Hutton first read about her in"Chicken Soup for the Horse Lover's Soul."

"I said, 'I wonder why I haven't heard about her before?' I Googled her name and only four items came up. That was seven years ago," Hutton said in a telephone interview this week.

Reckless was a chestnut-haired, small horse that was purchased by a U.S. Marine Corps lieutenant for $250 from a young Korean boy during the Korean War. The boy reportedly needed money to buy his sister an artificial limb.

Reckless, on war's front lines, became a Marine in her own right. She carried ammunition to Marines and during the Battle of Outpost Vegas, she made 51 trips up and down a steep mountain to reach Marines' positions. She also carried the wounded off the front lines.

Hutton said Korean War veterans who served with Reckless say she was ultimately a comfort.

"She was more than a horse, she was a Marine. The love that these guys still have for her is just overwhelming," Hutton said.

Hutton began communicating with veterans who served with Reckless years ago for her book, "Sgt. Reckless: America's War Horse." It will be released later this year.

Hutton was also the behind the effort to place a monument in honor of Reckless. Its unveiling was held Friday at the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Triangle, Virginia. Many veterans and their families were expected to be in attendance.

Reckless died in 1968. An effort brought her to the U.S. in 1954, following the war.

"The Marine's code is no man left behind," Hutton explained. "She landed to more press than Richard Nixon had a week before. She was a small little mare, but she was so tough and mighty."

This week marks the 60th anniversary of the armistice that ended the Korean conflict.

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