Of Horse

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A Real War Horse
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A Real War Horse

If one would be asked the question of what animals were used in modern warfare, the first that thing that would come to mind might be the German Shepherd Dog, which wouldn't necessarily be wrong. However, the German Shepherd was not the only animal used in modern warfare. Perhaps you have heard the story of a horse named Reckless, Sargent Reckless that is. 

Sargent Reckless (or "Flame-of-the-Morning" which was her Korean name) was a small chestnut mare with a white blaze and three white stockings. She was of Mongolian descent. Her dam was a racehorse. The Marine corps bought her from a stable boy at a racetrack in Seoul in 1952 for $250 dollars.

The boy was selling her to buy an artificial leg for his sister. Upon joining the Marines, she was trained to carry ammunition to the front lines on solo missions, meaning she would make those journeys without a handler. She was in the 75mm Recoil-less Rifle Platoon of the 5th Marines. Not only does it sound a bit unusual for a horse to carry ammunition and supplies on solo journeys, but also (as the story goes) she was known as a bit unusual for the things that he would eat. Or maybe the things she would eat were a bit unusual for a horse. Among some of her favorite treats were Hershey's chocolate bars, candy, scrambled eggs, and even Coca-Cola.

One of her greatest moments came during the five day Battle of Outpost Vegas in March 1953. On a single day, she would make up to 51 trips through dangerous cross-fire, up steep mountains, and through rice fields to bring soldiers much-needed supplies. During these five days, she carried up to 9,000 pounds of ammunition. She would even carry wounded soldiers back.

Some of her military awards include the Purple Heart, the Dickin Medal, Navy Presidential Unit Citation and several others. She died on May 13, 1968, and was buried with honors at Camp Pendleton.

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