with Horse and Hound

Sergeant Reckless: A Beloved Fellow Marine

sgt reckless memorialNew Memorial to Marine Staff Sergeant Reckless is dedicated in ceremonies at Camp Pendleton, Oceanside, California, on October 26, 2016.

Of the many images still stuck in Harold Wadley’s head from his combat tour in the Korean War, there’s one scene he’ll never forget: the silhouette of a 13.1-hand pack horse, Corporal Reckless, climbing the steep ridge with recoilless rifle ammunition strapped to her back for the Marines as incoming fire and return fire exploded around her. Then he’d see her picking her way back down, alone, carrying wounded marines. One day, during the Battle of Outpost Vegas, she made fifty-one trips, mostly alone, covering thirty-five miles.

Reckless was separated from her youthful owner during the Korean War and became one of the Marine Corps’ greatest heroes. In 1997, when Life Magazine published a special Collectors Edition titled “Celebrating Our Heroes,” the story of Reckless was included alongside the stories of other heroes such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, and Mother Teresa.

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