Project Reckless

This groundbreaking veteran’s advocacy case seeks to give a US war horse the burial she has earned through her military service in the United States Marine Corps.  Staff Sergeant Reckless, a war horse who delivered critical ammunition and evacuated wounded Marines during the Korean War, is the only nonhuman member of a U.S. military branch to receive official rank promotions and military decorations. She was promoted by the Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Randolph McCall Pate. LIFE magazine listed her among America’s top 100 all-time heroes.

As a true American hero, she deserves the honor of an Arlington National Cemetery burial alongside her fellow veterans. Both General Pate, who promoted her, and Andrew Geer, who wrote the first book about her and helped her return from Korea to the US, are buried there. So are many Korean war veterans. As an official Purple Heart recipient, SSgt. Reckless has earned burial at a national cemetery.

In the Battle of Outpost Vegas, one of “the fiercest clashes ever fought by the United States Marine Corps,” (Hutton, Sgt. Reckless America’s War Horse 2014 p.75) SSgt. Reckless made 51 trips over rough terrain to deliver rifle shells and evacuate wounded Marines. She is estimated to have carried over 9,000 pounds of explosives and to have traveled over 35 miles in a single day. Under heavy fire, she made 95% of her deliveries alone, without another Marine to guide her.

During the battle, SSgt. Reckless was wounded twice: by shrapnel above her left eye, and then again on her left flank. Despite her wounds, she continued to do her job.  She is currently buried at Camp Pendleton in California. However, SSgt. Reckless deserves a proper burial at Arlington National Cemetery, or alternatively Quantico, alongside her fellow soldiers. She is a true Marine. This burial will not take away a plot for a human military veteran and we will not request government funding for this project.

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