By Shannon Collins
DoD News, Defense Media Activity
MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va., June 25, 2015 – Medically retired British Army Cpl. David “H” Hubber earned a bronze medal June 22 with his team in the recurve archery event here during the 2015 DoD Warrior Games.
He also earned a gold medal in the individual recurve and a gold medal in the team event for recurve during the Invictus Games in London last year, but he said competition is more about camaraderie than medals.
“I had already won by being selected for the team,” he said. “As I progressed through the stages, from 32 to 16 to 8 to 4 and then into the finals, when I was knocking out my peers, I felt disappointed for them, because I’d already won.”
Competing is more about showing he can still be active, Hubber said. “I was there to show other people in my position that it could be done, and I had actually proven beyond doubt that it could be done,” he added.
Hubber joined the military because it ran in his family. His mother, father and stepmother all served in the Royal Air Force. His grandfather served in the army, and his other grandfather served in the merchant marine.
He deployed three times to the former republic of Yugoslavia in the 1990s, to Iraq in 2003, 2005 and 2007, and to Afghanistan from 2009 to 2010. He served in the military for 23 years and three months.
In 2001, while playing ice hockey for the army in Canada, Hubber suffered a spinal injury. “It’s a degenerative disorder that got worse over the years, so about two years ago, I started using a wheelchair,” he said. “I can walk, but not very far.”
Hubber said he didn’t know about archery until he was in a wheelchair, but said that he has found it helps him with his recovery process. He also enjoys wheelchair basketball, he said, but he can play it only occasionally because of his health. He said he has never shot the air pistol before, but that he’s going to just give it his best shot in the Warrior Games.
Events like the Warrior Games and the Invictus Games are important for him, Hubber said. Noting that he doesn’t get out of his house as much as he’d like to, he called the competition “an amazing opportunity” that allows him to spend time with other injured athletes. It makes him feel normal, he added.
Hubber said he recommends the Warrior Games to anyone considering trying out for the teams next year.
“No matter what level of injury you have, and specifically here in America, there is support out there for them,” he said. “The [United Kingdom] is the same. They can go through their chain of command. They can go to any of the many military charities to seek help, whether that’s psychological or financial. But for the games, if you didn’t make it this time, try again.”