Staff Sgt. Michael Ollis died Wednesday in Ghani Province in an attack that involved an improvised explosive device and small arms fire, according to the Pentagon.
Another neighbor said that he worked with the local Veterans of Foreign Wars chapter to clean up after Sandy, often working overnight to clean out moldy residue and wood.
"No matter what the situation was, even with all the construction here -- because we got wiped out from Sandy -- he had a golden smile," he said.
Ollis joined the Army in August 2006 after graduating from New Dorp High School. After serving in Germany and Fort Campbell in Kentucky, he arrived at Fort Drum in November 2011. He previously had done tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Ollis is survived by his mother and father.