New Yorkers are proud of their fallen heroes and their veterans and seek to honor them whenever possible. Each solider is not just a New Yorker though, he or she is also a son or daughter, husband, father, friend and neighbor, someone who is sadly missed when they do not return home. Sgt Michael Ollis lived in New Dorp Staten Island for the whole of his short life and when he died on August 29th, 2013 in Afghanistan he was indeed sorely missed.
He died while shielding a Polish Officer Lt Karol Cierpica. For his bravery he posthumously received the Silver Star and the Polish Armed Forces Gold Medal. But his neighbors and friends wanted to not just comfort his parents Linda and Robert Ollis, but to also remember Michael kin some permanent way. So the first thing they did was hang 24 American flags along a wall close to the New Dorp Railway Sation in memory of Michael’s 24 years of life. And now they have renamed the street he lived in, Burbank Street, ‘SSG Michael H. Ollis Way, so people will be able to see his name all the time.
Miacheal’s story is probably one true of many young solduers. He followed in the military tradition in his family by joinng up at 17, a move supported by his parents, and he spent all of his life from then on in the army and he died during his second tour in Afghanistan. He had earned promotion to Staff Sargeant during his army career and his fellow platoon mambers felt his loss deeply.
Our heroes not only keep us safe but they also give us the opportunity to honor fine human qualities such as courage, dedication and committment to doing everything you can. Thank you so mich Sgt Michael Hollis, we honor your sacrifice.