FORT SILL, Okla., July 23, 2020 -- Coming back from mental, physical, or emotional injuries is often a long journey. On Fort Sill, Dubia, a 22-year-old quarter horse in the Artillery Half Section, can look back to a time when his service to his country was in jeopardy.In 2012, the half section was preparing for a ceremony with the horses fully saddled and the Soldiers making last minute preparations.Dubia had flipped the previous day not saddled but appeared ready for the day’s activities.For those unfamiliar with how a horse flips, practicalhorsemanship.com states, “Horse flip-over injuries typically occur when a horse pulls back suddenly and feels his head restrained. The greater the force restraining him, the more he fights by pulling back. Then, when he finally breaks free, he flies back with tremendous force and his momentum may carry him over.”Moments later, Dubia again “flipped over the rail” breaking his neck in three places and fracturing his leg’s cannon bone.“The veterinary staff at Oklahoma State University could not believe that Dubia survived the accident at all,” said Gerald Stuck, chief of the Artillery Half Section. “Typically, when a horse breaks his neck, specifically those vertebrae, it kills the horse, but Dubia is not a normal horse.”The recovering horse returned to Fort Sill and was not used for one year.“He was put into an 8 foot by 8 foot box, with ties put up so he wasn’t moving his head and neck a lot and we took him out three times a day and walked him,” said Stuck.Stuck then received the OK that Dubia was fully recovered and decided to take him to the U.S. Cavalry competition at Fort Riley, Kansas, in 2013.“I threw a saddle on him and it was like he was never out of the job,” said Stuck, who added he expected Dubia to buck and kick his heels, but it was like “he never left the mission.”Dubia is a single mount horse and while the veterinarian staff believed that he would heal they did not know if he would be able to perform again.“You would never know that he had injured himself,” said Stuck.Today the grand old gentleman is back leading the half section in competitions and at ceremonies. He does so bearing Stuck on his back, the only half section member who rides him.Stuck is the only person on the half section who rides Dubia. The horse came to Fort Sill as a 4-year-old and was broke and trained by the previous half section chief.Stuck said the trainer made Dubia into the horse he is today, but for anyone else, “He is a little too much horse.”Having served in the half section while on active duty, Stuck became chief of the unit in 2008. He first served as the wheel driver for four or five months before transitioning to the lead position riding Dubia.“There has to be trust developed between horse and rider,” said Stuck.Retirement may be the only thing that prevents Dubia from continuing to serve in the half section. Stuck believes the horse should be able to serve for a few more years depending on his health.“(He’s a) flighty horse who is well broke but has lost a little flex from the accident,” said Stuck.Even so, Dubia continues to provide sound leader- ship for his two- and four-legged comrades.