Parents Of Slain Soldier Receive His Silver Star
At a Fort Drum ceremony Thursday night, the late Staff Sgt. Michael Ollis received the Silver Star, the third highest decoration a soldier can receive.
7 News reporter Chris Horvatits attended the moving ceremony. Click on the picture for his report.
The 10th Mountain Division soldier died in August while shielding an allied Polish soldier from an attack.
"I look at his accomplishments of what he's done," said his father, Robert Ollis. "As a father, I'm talking to you as a father, you can't be any more proud of one of your children."
The Ollises are not the only ones proud of Michael.
So are about 300 brothers in arms, all in attendance at the ceremony.
Some were superior officers who became emotional when talking about him.
"Today is bittersweet," said Col. Stephen Michael, commander of the 1st Brigade Combat Team. "Today we honor service and sacrifice and all that he's done and stood for."
"He ran to the sound of the guns," said 10th Mountain Division commander Maj. Gen. Stephen Townsend, "and ran into the breach."
The Ollises continue to live their lives one step at a time, with no regrets for what their son did.
Their reward -- a Silver Star -- to be a part of family history forever and to serve as a reminder.
"I'll think of how brave my son is and how selfless he is and how proud I am of him," said his mother, Linda Ollis. "And how I can't wait to see him again."
Gone, as they'll tell you. But never forgotten.
Thursday, July 24, 2014, Watertown, NY