The making of her monument
(There are over 100 photos on this page through her unveiling)
Welcome to the amazing story of an amazing heroine of the Korean War... the REAL War Horse, SSgt Reckless. You are invited here to share in the unfolding of the SSgt Reckless Monument Project, as seen through
the eyes of the artist, and the photographs of many.
There are approximately 100 photos on this page, you may scroll down the thumbnails at right for an
or click the 'next' button to follow the progress chronologically. Many of the photos will have an
explanation below the image. Following is a condensation of the Unveiling
Ceremony Speech on
Dedication Day, July 26, 2013 at the National Museum of the Marine Corps. it
explains, in a nutshell, how this project came to be.
This has been an amazing journey, and one that I'm sure will continue for all of us long after
we leave here today. I've made new friends, seen new places, and most importantly, come to know and
respect this little mare and the people she served with.
About 2 1/2 years ago, a friend and patron of one of my shows, approached me with a possible
project. He regaled a few short stories about Reckless and her antics during his brief service with
her, and then gave me Robin's contact information. Thank you, Bob Rogers.
I was pretty certain this was just another pipe dream, most people have no idea what is involved in
orchestrating and funding a monument project. But I hadn't met Robin yet. I believe 'enthusiasm and
perseverance' aptly define our project leader. Without a background on monument fundraising, she
powered through all the obstacles with a pure respect and dedication to bring the true story of
Reckless back to the forefront. Thank you, Robin Hutton.
Along the path of this journey travels another veteran Marine . A story within himself, he has been
an invaluable resource for all aspects of this project. Having served with Reckless in some of the
most grisly days of battle, his insight about her conditions of service and the ill-fitting tack she
shouldered lent a powerful credence to an accurate vision of this mare, laden with the duties she
was asked to perform. A true horseman, he even assembled a model pack saddle, complete with similar
rope of the era, lashing down the appropriate sized mock containers with the appropriately tied
knots. This arrived at my studio in Friday Harbor via FedEx, complete with a bottle of celebratory
Plum Wine. Thank you, Harold Wadley.
Dubbing ourselves Team Reckless, the lot of us managed to volley innumerable group emails to each
other over the last two years, pinning down details of her height, weight, shoe size and favorite
beer. I truly felt there were days that she was guiding my hand on the clay. When my sculpting was
finished and she was ready for the foundry, the freight truck came to pick her up at my studio. The
freighters and I rolled a 500 pound crate up the ramp and slammed the door. As they left the drive,
I turned to face an empty studio floor, and through the tears, came to understand how much this
project has meant, and how Reckless continues to touch us all.
A special thanks to my husband, Michael. He not only provided calm and compassionate support, but
cooked most of the meals and cleaned the house while I was knee deep in research and reference... it
is not an easy task to immortalize not only Reckless, but her every buckle, strap and lashing. After
all, she was a Marine... and I had no more room for error than she did.
I am truly honored to be the artist chosen to bring Reckless back to life. Thank you all again for
saving this day to pay tribute to this wonderful little four legged Marine, Staff Sergeant