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Michael H. Ollis

U.S. Army
2006-2013 | KIA

New Dorp native, Michael Ollis, enlisted into the armed services at age 17, after graduating from Staten Island’s Petrides High School. He belonged to the 1st Armored Division, the 101st Airborne
Assault Division and the 10th Mountain Division. During his seven years of service, he trained to become an Army Ranger and also earned his “wings” as a paratrooper. He was invited, and studied to successfully pass three board examinations to become a member of the prestigious NCO (non-commissioned officers) organization known as the “Audie Murphy Club.”

Staff Sergeant Ollis served one tour of duty in Iraq and two tours in Afghanistan. He left for his third deployment in January 2013. On August 28, Forward Operating Base Ghazni was attacked and breached by insurgent forces armed with rifles and suicide vests. During this attack Staff Sergeant Ollis heroically stepped in front of a wounded Polish officer to protect him from an insurgent wearing a suicide vest. Staff Sergeant Michael Ollis was killed when the insurgent’s vest detonated. He was 24 years old.

Michael’s heroism has been honored by the Polish government with their highest military award, the Polish Gold Star Medal of Honor, as well as the Afghani Star. Staff Sergeant Michael Ollis has been honored by the United States military with the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart, the Silver Star, Audie Murphy Medallion and the Distinguished Service Cross (the second highest award to the Medal of Honor).

The Ollis family continues to honor Michael’s legacy with the SSG Michael Ollis Freedom Foundation, which raises funds to support various programs for veterans. The foundation hosts an Annual SSG Michael Ollis Memorial 5K Run in June, whose motto is “Live Like Mike, Run for Mike” to commemorate the memory and courageous sacrifice of SSG Ollis and honor all of our nation’s veterans and service members.

In 2014, the first new Staten Island Ferry vessel added to the fleet since 2005 was officially commissioned the “Staff Sergeant Michael H. Ollis.” Family and friends celebrated its maiden voyage February 14, 2022.

Sponsored by the Sanchez Family

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