01 February 2015

The Bonds That Will Never Be Broken

Staff Sgt. Michael H. Ollis previously deployed to Iraq, from April 2008 to May 2009, and to Afghanistan, from June 2010 to May 2011. Ollis deployed with his unit to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in January 2013, and was killed Aug. 28, 2013, defending Forward Operating Base Ghazni. (Photo courtesy of Fort Drum Public Affairs)

On August 28, 2013, 24-year old Staff Sergeant Michael Ollis of the 10th Mountain Division deliberately placed himself between a suicide bomber and Polish Soldier Lt. Karol Cierpica, saving Lt. Cierpa's life. SSG Ollis was killed when the bomb exploded. His actions that day have earned him a Silver Star and a Polish Armed Forces Gold Medal.

And now, he has a namesake.

Earlier this month, the Polish soldier became the proud father of a baby boy he named in honor of Ollis.

Robert Ollis and his wife, Linda, called the tribute to their son "unexpected" and "wonderful."

"I thought of the baby as a grandson," Ollis Sr. said "We are very happy and honored."

To thank Cierpica and his wife, the Ollis family sent the couple a teddy bear they had specially made out of their son's Army fatigues.

Newborn baby Michael Cierpica lies with a teddy bear made from the Army fatigues of Staff Sgt. Michael Ollis, the soldier from New Dorp who sacrificed his life saving the infant's father during an attack in Afghanistan. (Photo courtesy of Ollis family, via silive.com)

The Ollis family are hoping to meet "Little Michael" in person some day soon. The families have become close, and last year the Ollises traveled to Poland where they visited with the Cierpicas as well as the other Polish soldiers who served at the same base in Afghanistan.

H/t This Ain't Hell.

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