Community Remembers Fallen Fort Drum Soldier

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Walking up to his apartment at Madison Barracks in Sackets Harbor, you're welcomed with an outpouring of love.

Cards, flowers, and flags - all to remember Staff Sergeant Michael Ollis, a Fort Drum soldier who was killed in Afghanistan just weeks before he was expected to come home.

"This is the harsh reality of what's going on in the world and it hit our house. It hit our home. This is one of ours. Our neighbor," said Michael Campbell, Madison Barracks manager.

A soldier in the 1st Brigade Combat Team, Staff Sergeant Ollis was killed when insurgents attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device.

After deploying in January, he was set to return by mid-September.

His family came from their home in Staten Island to get the apartment ready to welcome him back.

"You can see the care the mother and father went through to bring his personal belongings right down to a toothbrush, clothes dry-cleaned in the closets. I mean everyone was expecting him," said Campbell.

Everything has been donated by family, friends and people in the community.

One of the items is a card, left by a woman who says with a son in the Navy, she wants to show her support.

"I've seen first-hand the definite impact in a situation like this and I know that our families out there need all the support and love they can get," said Toini McCroy.

Campbell says officials at Madison Barracks are planning to take down the memorial in the coming days.

They will send all the items honoring Staff Sergeant Ollis to his family.

Friday, October 31, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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