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Honoring Duggal’s Veterans: Meet Omar Columbus

Curators’ Corner

Honoring Duggal’s Veterans: Meet Omar Columbus

Veterans Day is Friday, November 11th. In honor of those who have served, we reached out to our very own, Omar Columbus, an Air Force veteran who now works as a visual consultant in our 23rd Street retail center.

Where are you originally from?
Washington, North Carolina.

How long did you serve in the Air Force?
I honorably served 12 years on active duty, from 1994-2006. I began my career working in Logistics Readiness and later retrained into Military Intelligence. I pulled tours of duty in South Carolina, Spain, South Korea, Japan, Greece, Germany, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Texas, and Colorado Springs. My last assignment was in Hampton Roads, Virginia.

What brought you to NYC?
After separating from active duty in 2006, I wanted to do something different. There was not any opportunity for me back home in eastern North Carolina. I just had to live in NYC. I had a family member in New York, so I packed up, gave up everything I knew and came here to build a new life. I was addressed as “Technical Sergeant Columbus” for many years. Now I had to figure out who “Omar” was going to be. It was not easy after so much time in the military. I used my GI Bill to return to school, and earned a second bachelor’s degree, this one in Art from Brooklyn College, this past summer.

When did you begin working with Duggal?
October 2015.

What do you love about working at Duggal?
Working in such a creative environment of clients and co-workers daily. I also get to bridge the gap between veterans and my civilian community. I represent the face and resilience of the American veteran. I wear a different camouflage as a civilian, yet the core values and training earned in the Air Force shine through in whatever I’m doing.

What are your hobbies?
Creativity has become a form of therapy as well as an outlet for me. I went to school for art and focused in photography. I recently had a few opportunities to do some public speaking, reading my poetry about my time serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom. I also spoke at the largest poetry event in North America, the Dodge Poetry Festival, where I read two original poems.

Duggal Visual Solutions thanks Omar and our other veterans on staff for their service, and for their daily contributions at work. We are honored to have true heroes on our team.