I first heard of Sergeant Reckless before the two books I’ll describe were published, and before I learned that a statue of this remarkable little mare and a memorial existed at the Camp Pendleton Marine Base in California.
I heard the story first from a veteran of the Korean War, where Sgt. Reckless became famous, Harold Wadley. Harold called me years ago to tell me that he had just viewed my video on imprint training newborn foals. He wanted me to know that his grandfather, on the Cherokee Reservation, had taught him the identical technique when he was a boy. He said that it was traditional to do so in the Cherokee Tribe prior to the reservation era. I have since learned that several nomadic horse herding tribes also did this, such as the Comanche and the Kiowa.
A friendship with Harold, who now lives in Idaho, ensued, and he told me of this amazing little native mare, adopted by the frontline troops in Korea, who, all by herself, carried ammunition for miles to the troops, and carried wounded marines back to safety behind the lines. Her accomplishments were phenomenal. She went for many miles, back and forth, unaccompanied. She was wounded twice.
Now two books have been written about the little mare who was given the official name of “Sergeant Reckless.”
Sergeant Reckless was brought back to the U.S.A. and raised several foals and was repeatedly honored before she finally passed on.
I’m told that a movie is forthcoming. I’ll certainly want to see it.
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