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    A Tribute to Sacrifice: The Enduring Impact of SSG Michael Ollis in Poland

    A Tribute to Sacrifice: The Enduring Impact of SSG Michael Ollis in Poland

    Photo By Capt. Michael Mastrangelo | A plaque hangs in the “SSG Michael H. Ollis Warrior Grill” in honor of the...... read more read more

    Just over 4000 miles away from U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Michael Ollis’s hometown, on Camp Kosciusko in Poznan, Poland, stands a tribute to the enduring bond between nations and the profound impact of individual heroism. The “SSG Michael H. Ollis Warrior Grill” is dedicated to the only Staten Island native to make the ultimate sacrifice in the Global War on Terror. Ollis perished on Aug. 28, 2013, while protecting a wounded Polish soldier while serving on a partner force mission in Ghazni province, Afghanistan.

    Ollis was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his actions on August 28, 2013, when he saved the life of a Polish Army officer. He was rendering first aid when he stepped in between a suicide bomber and the wounded officer. His actions were a testament to the camaraderie and understanding that U.S. Soldiers develop with partner nations while serving in combat. This relationship now transcends into the current landscape of deterrence and aggression in the Eastern European region, with Polish and U.S. forces at the forefront.

    “Poland doesn’t name many landmarks after military personnel,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Kirk L. Ray, the senior enlisted advisor for the U.S. Army Garrison-Poland. “I think that represents that we are here, integrated, and ready to support. I believe it exemplifies that Staff Sergeant Ollis was a hero and builds commitment and trust between the two nation’s here together.”

    By immortalizing his name, the Polish Army has demonstrated their appreciation and admiration for a Soldier that represented the finest qualities of a U.S. service member. This symbolic gesture represents not only the admiration for Ollis, but also strengthens the important partnership between the United States and Poland.

    The partnership between U.S. Forces and Polish forces continues to strengthen, and this demonstration of respect and admiration further cements the impact that individual Soldiers can make. U.S. Soldiers continue to serve alongside Polish allies, ready to defend against any potential threats and increase collective security in the region.

    As tensions mount in Eastern Europe and the threat of Russian aggression looms large, the presence of American Soldiers in Poland takes on added significance. American Soldiers stationed in Poland play a crucial role in deterring any potential threats to regional stability. The “SSG Michael H. Ollis Warrior Grill” serves as a solemn reminder of the importance of the commitment among NATO Allies.

    As Soldiers gather at “SSG Michael H. Ollis Warrior Grill”, they continue to bond over the sacrifices made by those who came before..

    Sgt. 1st Class Kevin Aleckna, championed the idea of dedicating the dining facility in honor of Ollis. He reflected by stating, “I don’t want people to forget what happened over the last 20 years, specifically heroes like Staff Sergeant. Michael Ollis. We couldn’t have found a more perfect candidate for commemorating a facility. His history and legacy in Poland makes it perfect.”



    Date Taken: 05.30.2024
    Date Posted: 05.31.2024 13:53
    Story ID: 472533
    Location: PL

    Web Views: 130
    Downloads: 0