Slain Staten Island Soldier Honored by Polish Armed Forces for Bravery | NBC New York

Slain Staten Island Soldier Honored by Polish Armed Forces for Bravery

Staff Sgt. Michael Ollis, 24, saved a Polish officer's life during an insurgent attack in Afghanistan in August



    A slain Staten Island soldier was honored at the Polish consulate in Manhattan Tuesday for his heroic actions during an insurgent attack in Afghanistan in August. 
    Staff Sgt. Michael Ollis, 24, was killed on Forward Operating Base Ghazni in eastern Afghanistan on Aug. 28. 

    When a car bomb exploded near the base and insurgents began attacking, Ollis first accounted for his men and then ran towards the site of the blast and sound of gunfire, according to Polish military officials. 
    During the fighting, Ollis stepped between a Polish officer, Lt. Karol Cierpica, and a suicide bomb-laden insurgent, protecting the officer from the fatal blast.
    Cierpica told NBC News after the ceremony that he thanked Ollis' father for his son.
    Ollis' parents, Robert and Linda Ollis, were presented with the Gold Medal of Polish Armed Forces, the equivalent of the Legion of Merit, the Army's fifth highest decoration, at the ceremony Tuesday. Polish ambassador Ryszard Schnepf also presented to Ollis' parents a traditional Polish Calvary sword as a sign of bravery. 
    Ollis was also awarded the Silver Star, the third-highest award for valor given by the Army, after being recommended by his unit, the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division. 
    A Polish soldier was also killed, and 10 Polish soldiers and dozens of Afghan troops were injured in the same Aug. 28 attack.
    Ollis was from New Dorp and joined the Army in August 2006 after graduating from high school. He previously did tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.
    With NBC News reports

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