Quick book recommendation: “Sgt. Reckless”

20 February, L A.S.

Quick book recommendation:

Sgt. Reckless

Reckless_with_Sgt._Latham

Believe it or not, I do read books outside of the Horror genre. I read just as much History and Historical Fiction…if not more! (Don’t tell anyone though!) One such non-Horror book I recently finished and thoroughly enjoyed, is Sgt. Reckless: America’s War Horse by Robin Hutton.

Hutton tells the true story of a little Mongolian mare who served with U.S. Marines, hauling ammunition over rough terrain in the Korean War. I use the term “served” here intentionally: Reckless the horse, after her training and induction into front-line military life, truly did earn her place in the Marine Corps. Her handlers and friends came to refer to her as a marine, and after her amazing service hauling 25 pound recoilless rifle shells up and down steep and rocky ground in the middle of a massive Chinese attack, she was inducted into the Corps as a sergeant. A sergeant with actual papers and a special uniform blanket and everything! In parades back in the states, where she quickly became famous, only a Marine of higher rank could lead her.

Anyway, I don’t want to summarize too much, as much as I do love talking about this book. Hutton clearly did great research, both in the library and in interviews with Korean War veterans who knew Reckless. The writing style is clear, direct, and easy to follow, with flashes of humor that don’t distract from the history. There is a lot of humor in Reckless’ story, (the men frequently fed her beer, and, a couple times inadvertently, a hat and some poker chips,) but also much heroism, and the tragedies inevitable in any war.

The reader will enjoy the full telling of Reckless’ story, from her birth and raising by a young Korean man, to her days training at “hoof camp,” to her retirement in the U.S., to the birth of her offspring, and to the 21st century erection of a monument in her honor, brought into existence thanks to the dedicated efforts of Hutton herself.

If you like stories of great horses, or if you like Military History, I highly recommend Sgt. Reckless to you!

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