I had the pleasure of meeting Robin Hutton at Western States Expo last year while hanging with the wonderful folks at Spalding Labs. I took a walkabout on Saturday to see what else was at the show, rounded a corner and bam! There she was! It wasn't Robin that I saw straight off, it was Sgt Reckless! At the start of HorseGirlTV many years ago, I was told Sgt. Reckless would be a wonderful episode to shoot so I did some research and found only 4 pictures online, placed a phone call or two trying to track down anyone I could talk to about her and it all led to dead ends. After a short conversation with Robin, I discovered about that same time, she was searching online for her and found those same 4 photos and, long story short, 8 years later there is her best selling novel, a monument of her at the Marine Corps Museum, and maybe even a movie on the way?! I was SO happy for this! Great friend to Spalding Labs, Dr Robert M Miller consulted with Robin on her book. If you haven't heard of this courageous little red mare, read on and find out more of her true tale serving with the US Marine Corps.
From the racetrack to the battlefield—dauntless, fearless, and exemplar of Semper Fi—she was Reckless, "pride of the Marines."A Mongolian mare who was bred to be a racehorse, Ah-Chim-Hai, or Flame-of-the-Morning, belonged to a young boy named Kim-Huk-Moon. In order to pay for a prosthetic leg for his sister, Kim made the difficult decision to sell his beloved companion. Lieutenant Eric Pedersen purchased the bodacious mare and renamed her Reckless, for the Recoilless Rifles Platoon, Anti-Tank Division, of the 5th Marines she’d be joining.The four-legged equine braved minefields and hailing shrapnel to deliver ammunition to her division on the frontlines. In one day alone, performing 51 trips up and down treacherous terrain, covering a distance of over 35 miles, and rescuing wounded comrades-in-arms, Reckless demonstrated her steadfast devotion to the Marines who had become her herd.Despite only measuring about thirteen hands high, this pint-sized equine became an American hero. Reckless was awarded two Purple Hearts for her valor and was officially promoted to staff sergeant twice, a distinction never bestowed upon an animal before or since.Author Robin Hutton has reignited excitement about this nearly forgotten legend, realizing the Sgt. Reckless Memorial Monument at the National Museum of the Marine Corps, completed in July 2013, and now spurring the creation of a second memorial at Camp Pendleton, California, where Reckless lived out the rest of her days.The paperback edition includes a new foreword by General James F. Amos, 35th Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps. It will appeal to fans of Laura Hillenbrand's Seabiscuit, Elizabeth Letts' The Eighty Dollar Champion, and the feature film War Horse.
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