Veterans Day: A Salute to the Brave Men and Women Who Serve Our Country
Veterans Day is a time to honor those from every branch of the United States Armed Forces who have served our country. We celebrate and salute these heroes for their service and unwavering dedication to protecting our liberties and freedoms.
Staff Sergeant Oomar Olivas is one of those heroes. Oomar is a member of the Colorado Army National Guard’s 3rd Battalion, 157th Field Artillery Regiment. He joined the Guard in August 2011 and is a Platoon Sergeant in his unit. He is also one of our caregivers. Oomar joined SCL Health, now Intermountain Healthcare, three years ago as an End User Analyst in our System office in Broomfield.
“Serving in the military was something I always wanted to do, but I decided to go to school instead,” said Oomar. “Even after graduating, I still wanted to pursue it.”
As luck would have it, his wife helped make his dream a reality. As they drove down the street more than a decade ago, they passed an airman and Oomar’s face lit up. His wife suggested he join the Army National Guard so he could live his dream, serve the community, and still come home to his family at night.
“Serving in the military, and specifically in the National Guard, gives me an opportunity to serve my community and help my neighbors and loved ones in a way that isn’t typical of active-duty Army,” said Oomar. “One of my biggest hopes was to be able to assist people during some sort of natural disaster and to be able to go out and help people in their times of need. Joining the Guard allowed me to do that.”
Oomar assisted with the fires in late 2020, Washington, D.C.’s January 6, 2020 call for support, winter rescues and missing persons searches. He explained that while helping with local events has been extremely fulfilling, he’s also been able to serve on a global scale. He recently returned from his second deployment – his first was to Afghanistan and his most recent was to Syria and the United Arab Emirates.
Oomar was deployed for just over a year and returned home in October of this year. “Returning home was a huge relief because I greatly missed my friends, family and work,” he said. “It felt like a burden had been lifted because while I was serving overseas, my family was serving just as much here at home. My wife took care of everything while I was gone, and my kids went without their dad. Relieving that stress on everyone felt phenomenal.”
Since the withdrawal from Afghanistan, Veterans Day has held more meaning to Oomar because of how many people felt the impact.
“Veterans Day is a time to reach out to my brothers and sisters to see how they’re doing, and to remember those who are currently serving and who have served,” he explained. “I really enjoy that people go out that day and enjoy the freedoms that are afforded to them here in the United States.”
Oomar learned many important military lessons and skills that he applied to his job at Intermountain Healthcare, as well as skills he learned on the job that he applied to his military service.
“Leadership takes practice and intentionality and it’s not always my way or the highway,” said Oomar. “Those less experienced often have fresh ideas and perspectives and it’s important to consider everyone’s input to continue to grow as a leader. A good leader never stops growing.”
Oomar’s message for Veterans is that there’s always time for self-improvement. “It’s important that we continue to build on our skills and utilize the resources provided to us no matter how difficult they are to get to,” he said. “That’s the way we make the workplace better and that’s the way we make ourselves better. When it comes down to it, that’s the way we all move forward.”
We thank Oomar and all our caregivers who have served and are currently serving our country. You are true heroes, and we are grateful for all that you do!