Building named for fallen Fort Drum soldier
FORT DRUM, N.Y. (WWNY) - A fallen 10th Mountain Division soldier awarded with the second highest military honor is being commemorated on Fort Drum.
"The military meant so much to him. He wanted to stay on forever," said Robert Ollis, father of Michael Ollis.
Robert and Linda Ollis are on Fort Drum surrounded by soldiers and members of the community to commemorate Staff Sergeant Michael Ollis, their son.
"What this means to us is a tremendous honor," said Robert.
Staff Sergeant Ollis was a part of the Triple Deuce, the 2nd Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team of the 10th Mountain Division.
He died shielding a Polish army lieutenant from a suicide bomber while deployed to Afghanistan in 2013. He received the Silver Star.
This summer, Staff Sergeant Ollis's award was upgraded to the Distinguished Service Cross, the second highest military honor awarded by the U.S. Army.
Now, a building on Fort Drum will have new name.
"The Staff Sergeant Michael H. Ollis Weapons Training Center will serve as a reminder and honor the sacrifice of one of America's heroes," said 2nd Lt. Aaron Churchill, who spoke at the ceremony.
It's dedicated to a hero who gave his life for the country and the people he loved.
"'As long as I'm healthy, I'm going to give to the Army' and that was his exact words and I said, 'Okay, Mikey, you go for it," said Robert.
Something Ollis lived by.
“We would hope all Triple Deuce soldiers, all 1st Brigade 10th Mountain soldiers, all U.S. soldiers will be willing to make the same decision to step out like Sergeant Ollis,” said Lt. Colonel Rex Howry, commander of the 2nd Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment.
“I want to say thank you for remembering our Michael,” said Linda Olllis.
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