KEN Our High Note today, the EIB Network High Note is dedicated to Army Sgt. Michael Ollis. The 24-year-old New Yorker from Staten Island was killed in Afghanistan in 2013 as he shielded a wounded Polish soldier from an insurgent suicide bomber’s blast. They named one of the Staten Island Ferries after Sgt. Ollis.
His parents, Linda and Bob, started the nonprofit called Staff Sgt. Michael Ollis Freedom Foundation in his honor, which does things like host dinner for elderly vets, train service dogs, send care packages to troops deployed during the holidays, and teaches civics in borough schools. In a few weeks on June 13th they’re holding their annual 5K walk-run on Staten Island. Here’s Michael’s father, Bob, describing the event followed by race director Nick Iacono.
BOB: I can’t believe the outpour of support and love that the Staten Island people have given towards Michael and Linda and I.
IACONO: I think we’ve gotten so much support year after year. It’s because Staten Islanders are among the most patriotic people in America. They love our veterans. They appreciate their sacrifice. And few veterans and few — few stories really embody the sacrifice better than Michael Ollis did.
KEN: Michael Ollis received the U.S. Army’s Distinguished Service Cross and Poland’s army gold medal for saving the lives of his entire platoon and the Polish soldier, Lt. Karol Cierpica.
The two had never met before, but Ollis threw his body over him when the base came under attack, sacrificing his own life. Again, only 24 years old.
The families are still in touch so we wanted to give Michael Ollis’ Freedom Foundation a special recognition along with all of our brave men and women in the armed forces. They have our deepest gratitude and appreciation, as always, here at EIB.