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Sgt. Reckless Audiobook

Sgt. Reckless: America's War Horse

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Publisher's Summary

This is the complete and captivating account of how a would-be Korean racehorse became one of the greatest Marine Corps wartime heroes.

Amid an inferno of explosives on a deadly minefield in the Korean War, a four-legged marine proved to be a heroic force of nature. She moved headstrong up and down steep, smoky terrain that no man could travail confidently. In a single day, this small Mongolian mare made fifty-one round-trips carrying nearly five tons of explosives to various gun sites. Sergeant Reckless was her name, and she was the horse renowned for carrying wounded soldiers off the battlefield and making solo trips across combat zones to deliver supplies.

A widely celebrated national hero, Reckless was first featured in 1954 in the Saturday Evening Post and in 1997 when Life magazine published an edition lauding history's one hundred all-time heroes. Equine enthusiast Robin Hutton learned about Sergeant Reckless and spearheaded the effort to commission a monument at the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Triangle, Virginia, near the Marine Corps Base Quantico. In July of 2013, the statue was unveiled. A second monument is planned for Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton in California, where Reckless lived out her days and is buried.

Hutton has now written a fascinating full biography of Sergeant Reckless, who earned two Purple Hearts for her heroic efforts, among other military decorations. Hutton has spoken with the marines who fought alongside Reckless and tells the complete and captivating tale of how a would-be Korean racehorse became one of the greatest Marine Corps wartime heroes. Sgt. Reckless brings the legend back to life more than half a century later.

©2014 Robin Hutton (P)2014 Blackstone Audio

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  • Jean
    Santa Cruz, CA, United States
    3/08/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Captivating story"

    The Military should create a medal for bravery and valor above and beyond duty such as the bronze and silver star for the animals in the service. Also an equivalent of the Medal of Honor should be created and Sgt. Reckless its first recipient. It is obvious this book was well researched. The author interviewed hundreds of Marines and other people whose lives were touched by Reckless and incorporated the wonderful stories into this book. Sgt. Reckless had a unique personality that attracted the Marines to her and she bonded with each member of her unit (75 mm Recoilless Rifle Platoon of the 5th Marines, First Marine Division. Robin Hutton’s passion for this little horse/pony and her story is evident in the details, not just about Sgt. Reckless, but in laying the groundwork for the Military action that Sgt. Reckless participated in. Hutton tells Reckless’s story from birth to her life at Camp Pendleton.

    Reckless went through “hoof camp” where she was trained to step over communication lines, barb wire, ignore battle sounds and get down when incoming fire arrived. She only had to be shown once or sometimes twice and she learned the lesson. She was a 13 hand Mongolian mare, chestnut in color with white blaze down her face and three white stockings. She only weighted 900 pounds. Her job was to take ammunition (200 to 300 lbs. per load) to the men and carry the wounded back. Reckless amazingly did this on her own, men loaded her with the ammunitions, and she went alone to deliver it to the men and came back alone with the wounded on her back. She was named Reckless by the Platoon because that was their call sign.

    The book goes into detail about the bloody battle of “Outpost Vegas” in March 1953. On one day Reckless made 51 round trips up and down steep terrain that no man could travel carrying nearly 5 tons of ammunitions to various gun sites and returning carrying the wounded. Incoming artillery was exploding at the rate of 500 rounds per minute, through this Reckless covered over 35 miles that day and she did all this solo. She was wounded twice in this battle. Once on her left flank and over her eye. Plus her ears where cut from barbwire. She was promoted to Sergeant by the Marines for her valor in this battle. She was the only true NCO in the Marines; those strips meant something to her men. Sgt. Major James E. Babbitt stated, “It’s difficult to describe the elation and boost in morale that little white faced mare gave Marines as she outfoxed the enemy bringing vitally needed ammunitions up the mountain.”

    Reckless was discharged as Staff Sergeant. Medals awarded are as follows: Two Purple Hearts, Good Conduct Medal, Presidential Unit Citation with Star, National Defense Service Medal, Korean Service Medal, United Nations Service Medal, Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation, Navy Unit Commendation and the French Foarragere. She wore them proudly on her red and gold blanket whenever she was paraded around at official function.

    Robin Hutton led a campaign to have Sgt. Reckless recognized by a monument. A Statue of the Mongolian mare, Sgt. Reckless, was dedicated at the National Museum of the Marine Corp, in Triangle Virginia on July 26, 2013. The statue was sculpted by Joycelyn Russell. A second monument is at Camp Pendleton where Reckless lived out her days and is buried. She was the first female Marine in Combat. The Marines just say, “ she was a Marine.” This is a captivating story of the most noble of creatures. If you are interested in history or just a horse lover you will enjoy this book. Susan Boyce did an excellent job narrating the book.

    11 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • Karen
    USA
    24/06/15
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    Performance
    Story
    "Saaaa-lute, Sgt. Reckless!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes I would. The story is one that needs to told, shared, and never forgotten.


    What other book might you compare Sgt. Reckless to and why?

    I suppose I could "compare" with to other horse stories, but that's a little difficult to do because Reckless was absolutely a one-in-a-million little horse.


    What about Susan Boyce’s performance did you like?

    I liked her performance. A bit stiff at times where I would have read it with more emotion -- she reads it like a news story instead of a STORY. Overall a good performance.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I always liked when she joined the guys in the mess tent after a long hard day. She was "just" another soldier. What a horse.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • shelley mcgirr
    15/12/15
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    Performance
    Story
    "Wonderful Horse Story and a Great History Lesson a"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    great true story about a real unsung hero that everyone should know and learn about.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Of course its SGT.Reckless herself!!


    What does Susan Boyce bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Wonderful story teller


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Antionette
    8/09/15
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    Story
    "Reckless=Remarkable"


    Wonderful book. Highly recommend it to anyone. The bravery and courage of this horse is not only remarkable but should be remembered in years to come. Just loved it. Be prepared for goosebumps and tears.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Lori A Kaup-Beale
    17/07/15
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    Performance
    Story
    "Remember our heroes"

    So much of our history is forgotten. Especially the heroes, whether they be human or animal. It is our responsibility to help their legacy live on. This book does just that.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • lana goodwin
    9/03/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Amazing!"

    An amazing well told story well worth the listen about one amazing horse in history. If you enjoyed the stories of Secretariat or Seabiscuit this will be a treasure.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Stephanie
    27/10/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Animal Connections"

    This book is a Wonderful example of the connection that is possible with animals. I get to experience that connection more than most but there is a clear understanding of the barriers that can be breached. We could learn something from Sgt Reckless.
    Thank you Sgt Reckless and all those who put others before themselves!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    15/10/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "She wasn't a horse"

    This was a great history lesson. I love a good horse story but to hear of the love and care give to Sargent Reckless was very touching. This horse touched so many lives

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Jillian Christine Cathey
    29/09/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "great story....highly recommended"

    this was a great story and I highly recommend it. I listened to it in one sitting

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Suzan Haberman
    7/09/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "What a great horse story"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, I would recommend this book to anyone who loves a true story and a rare find,


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Sgt. Reckless?

    This horses life is amazing, and almost hard to believe, but it's true. Someone should make a move of this book.


    Which character – as performed by Susan Boyce – was your favorite?

    My favorite character was Reckless of course.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Sgt. Reckless


    Any additional comments?

    Read this book, you will be amazed,

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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