A Polish soldier became a proud father earlier this month and named his newborn baby in honor of the young U.S. soldier who saved his life two year ago.
SILive.com reported that U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Michael Ollis, a lifelong resident of New Dorp, sacrificed his life on August 28, 2013, while shielding Lt. Karol Cierpica from a suicide bomber in Afghanistan.
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.”
The couple is hoping to meet “Little Michael” next time Cierpica visits them in New York. Last summer, the Ollises traveled to Poland to visit Cierpica and his wife. They also made sure to spend time with the Polish soldiers who served at the same base in Afghanistan with Sgt. Ollis and Cierpica.
“We’d like to see them again soon with Little Michael,” Ollis said.
The Ollis family sent the newborn baby boy a teddy bear they had specially made out of their son’s Army fatigues. The gift came from the Matthew Freeman Project, a charity organization that offers the free service to families of fallen soldiers.
In 2014, Ollis, Sr. and his wife started a charity named the Staff Sgt. Ollis Freedom Foundation in honor of their son, who was only 24-years-old when he died. The goal of the organization is to provide help and support to soldiers and veterans.
“We just want to help a young man or woman going into the service like Michael,” Ollis, Sr. said.
These comments were posted on a tribute video (below) to SSG Michael Ollis shortly after his death.