• President of Poland Andrej Duda Cites SSG Michael Ollis in Letter to President Trump Commemorating Independence Day

    Contact: Nick Iacono, SSG Michael Ollis Freedom Foundation
    P: (718) 887-6522 | E-Mail: Iacono.Nicholas@gmail.com

    President of Poland Andrej Duda Cites SSG Michael Ollis in Letter to President Trump Commemorating America’s Independence Day

    STATEN ISLAND, NY – (Thursday, June 6, 2017) Today, the SSG Michael Ollis Freedom Foundation issued the following statement of gratitude in response to President Andrej Duda of Poland’s mention of SSG Michael Ollis in his July 4 official correspondence to President Donald J. Trump:

    “We are proud and honored to have Michael’s name and heroic sacrifice invoked by President Duda of Poland as a testament to the strong bonds of fellowship between the United States and Poland,” said Robert and Linda Ollis, co-founders of the SSG Michael Ollis Freedom Foundation and the parents of fallen Army SSG Michael Ollis. “Michael selflessly gave his life to shield his fellow soldier, Carol Cierpica of Poland, because that’s who he was, and we are so grateful to the Polish government and people for continuing to honor Michael’s memory and help us tell his amazing story.”

    SSG Michael Ollis heroically sacrificed his life to shield Polish Lt. Karol Cierpica from a suicide attack when their forward operating base (FOB) in Afghanistan was ambushed in a suicide attack in 2013. Since then, Karol, the Polish government, the Polish & Slavic Federal Credit Union, and countless members of the Polish-American community (especially here on Staten Island) have worked hard to commemorate the memory and heroic sacrifice of SSG Ollis. In fact, the Polish Government posthumously awarded SSG Ollis the Army Gold Medal, Poland’s highest honor for a foreign soldier, and when the Lt. Cierpica’s baby boy was born in 2015, they named him Michael in honor of SSG Ollis.

    In addition, this past June, the SSG Michael Ollis Freedom Foundation held its First Annual SSG Michael Ollis Memorial 5K Run/Walk in New Dorp on Staten Island, which was attended by Maciej Golubiewski, Consul General of the Republic of Poland in New York, Colonel Jacek Stochel from Poland’s Embassy in Washington, DC.

    See below for the full text of President Duda’s letter with his comments regarding SSG Ollis highlighted. President Duda’s letter was sent on the occasion of American Independence Day and President Donald Trump’s historic state visit to Poland this week.

    Letter by the President Andrzej Duda to the President of the USA on the occasion of the Independence Day

    Tuesday, 4 July 2017

    “On the occasion of the National Day of the United State of America: the Independence Day, I wish to offer into your hands, Sir, our congratulations and best wishes from the Polish Nation and me personally.

    The Republic of Poland and the United States of America are bound by traditional bonds of friendship, by the strategic partnership founded on our shared values, and by respect of our mutual interests. The Polish Americans, the Polonia, are also an important reference in our relations. I am greatly pleased that in the course of your presidential campaign, Sir, you have found the time to meet this community which is very close to my heart.

    The additional, undoubted, strengthening element in our close relationship is the fraternity of arms among our soldiers, forged in Iraq, Afghanistan and other hotspots of the modern world. Especially, the action of a 24-year-old Staff Sergeant Michael H. Ollis, who during the Taliban attack on the base in Ghazni in August 2013, Afghanistan, gave his life shielding with his own body a Polish Lieutenant Karol, Cierpica, was firmly imprinted in the collective memory of the Polish people. For saving the life of a Polish officer, he was posthumously decorated by the Polish authorities with the Star of Afghanistan, and the Gold Medal of the Polish Army.

    I have a particular appreciation for the American contribution to the security guarantees to the European Allies located along NATO’s Eastern flank, which is exemplified by the deployment of the American troops in the region, including Poland. It is with satisfaction that I have been following the implementation of decision made at last year’s NATO Summit in Warsaw, as well as their reaffirmation at the recent meeting of Heads of States and Governments from NATO states in Brussels.

    To me, as President of the Republic of Poland and to my Compatriots, but also to the states of Central Europe, affiliated with the Three Seas Initiative, your decision, Sir, to accept our invitation to visit Poland and to take part in in the Summit meeting of the Initiative on July 6, is of paramount importance. I count on fruitful bilateral and multilateral talks which will further testify to our commitment in building transatlantic bonds. I am deeply convinced that the meeting of leaders of states from this part of Europe, focused on tightening economic investment, business and infrastructural cooperation, will go down as a success, also thanks to your attendance thereof, Sir.

    Mr. President, please, accept once again, my very best wishes for all success in carrying out of your noble and responsible mission of holding the office of the President of the United States. Let me also extend my good wishes of prosperity and success to Your, Sir, Your Family, Colleagues, and to All the People of the United States.”

    President of the Republic of Poland
    Andrzej Duda

  • Inaugural SSMOFF 5k Results Posted

    Result have been posted! On behalf of Robert and Linda Ollis, Thank You to everyone for your support and participation!

    Hope to see everyone again next year!

  • First Annual SSG Michael Ollis Memorial 5k Run & Festival

    For tour tomorrow, he gave his today...


    Race Will Commemorate the Memory & Sacrifice of SSG Ollis & Raise Funds for Veterans


    • Contact: Robert Ollis, President of the Staff Sergeant Michael Ollis Freedom Foundation P: (646) 379-2295 | E-Mail: fortdrum1988@gmail.com
    • Nick Iacono, Board Member and Race Planning Director P: (718) 887-6522 | E-Mail: Iacono.Nicholas@gmail.com

    (April 10, 2017 – Staten Island, NY) – The SSG Michael Ollis Freedom Foundation, a nonprofit 501(c)3 veterans charity established in 2013 by the family of fallen U.S. Army Staff Sergeant (SSG) Michael Ollis, announced today that it will be hosting its FIRST ANNUAL SSG MICHAEL OLLIS MEMORIAL 5K RUN/WALK & STREET FESTIVAL on Sunday, June 11th, 2017, 8AM – 12PM in New Dorp. The race will serve to commemorate the memory & courageous sacrifice of SSG Ollis, honor all of our nation’s veterans and service members, and raise funds for the SSG Michael Ollis Freedom Foundation which supports various veterans’ and philanthropic causes. Members of the media are invited to cover this inaugural event and are asked to please help spread the word. Participants can purchase their $35 ticket or make a donation to the cause at ollisrace.eventbrite.com.

    “Our son Michael gave his life for his country, and the foundation we set up in his honor is dedicated to one purpose: to support his fellow veterans and their families,” said Michael’s parents and foundation cofounders Robert and Linda Ollis. “We hope that this race will allow us as a community to memorialize Michael’s sacrifice, show our appreciation for all our service members, and raise funds to help those who have served.” The event will begin at 8:00 AM on Sunday, June 11th, at New Dorp Lane and New Dorp Plaza South…with the race kicking off at 9:00 AM and a street festival featuring live music, food, entertainment, activities, and various vendors/merchants to follow (10AM – 12PM). The race route will be a total of 5 kilometers and entail a loop around the Staten Island Railway (SIR) between Beach Avenue and Jefferson Avenue.

    After the race, an awards ceremony and street festival will take place on New Dorp Lane between New Dorp Plaza and 10th Street. The foundation is seeking runners/walkers, sponsors, donations, and volunteers…and those interested should e-mail OllisRace@gmail.com and visit www.ollisrace.evenbrite.com.

    “Staten Island is home to both an active running community, as well as a patriotic community that strongly supports veterans and our armed forces,” Mr. and Mrs. Ollis continued. “We thought, what better way to honor Michael’s memory and raise funds for the foundation than by hosting a community run right here in New Dorp where Michael grew up? We especially want to thank all the New Dorp merchants for allowing us to host this event in the neighborhood, and for all the sponsors who have already committed their support.”

    In 2013, SSG Michael Ollis was stationed with the 10th Mountain Division at a forward operating base in Ghazni, Afghanistan when the base was ambushed by insurgents. SSG Ollis heroically gave his life to shield a fellow serviceman from a suicide bomber. He posthumously received numerous honors in recognition of his valor including the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star, the Silver Star, the Audie Murphy Medallion, the Polish Gold Star Medal of Honor, and in January 2016, the New York City Department of Transportation (NYC DOT) announced that one its new Staten Island Ferry Boats would be named after Michael.

    The race/event, hosted by the SSG Ollis Freedom Foundation, is a partnership among multiple supportive organizations, agencies, and individuals. Special thanks to Councilman Steven Matteo and Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis, whose offices worked closely with the foundation and Mr. Daniel Clark of SIBOC to secure the necessary permits and logistical arrangements. Special thanks also to Chief Ed Delatorre, Borough Commander for Staten Island; Detective Kevin Medefint of the 122 Precinct; Daniel Clark, Executive Director of the Staten Island Business Outreach Center (SIBOC); Maria Esposito of the New Dorp Merchants Group, Paul Burdzy and Agnieszka Chwatko of the Polish & Slavic Federal Credit Union, and Andrew Guido of the New Dorp Central Civic Association.

    *Further details and information regarding bib pickup will be forthcoming*

    Tentative Event Schedule:

    • 8:00 AM Opening Ceremony Begins- National Anthem & Remarks (Participants must be in their corral)
    • 9:00 AM Race Kicks Off
    • 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM Street Festival/Awards Presentation (Street festival will take place after the race on New Dorp Lane between New Dorp Plaza and 10th Street)

    Partnering Organizations:

    • The Staten Island Business Outreach Center (SIBOC)
    • The New Dorp Merchants Group
    • The Polish & Slavic Federal Credit Union
    • The New Dorp Central Civic Association
    • Office of Councilman Steven Matteo (District 50, Mid-Island)
    • Office of Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (AD 64, East Shore/Brooklyn)
    • New York Police Department – Staten Island Borough Command & the 122 Precinct
    • New York City Department of Transportation – Weekend Walks Program ShopRite of Hylan Blvd, Staten Island


    Current Committed Sponsors:

    • ShopRite of Hylan Blvd
    • The Polish & Slavic Federal Credit Union
    • Crossfit 103
    • NYC DOT Weekend Walks Program


    Website: www.ssgollis.org

    Facebook: SSG Michael Ollis Freedom Foundation

    Event Details/Registration: Ollisrace.Eventbrite.com

    Questions? E-mail: OllisRace@gmail.com

  • 10 students named to US Military Academies at SSG Ollis VFW Hall

    Reposted from SILive:

    Carol Ann Benanti | benanti@siadvance.com By Carol Ann Benanti | benanti@siadvance.com
    on February 24, 2017 at 2:34 PM, updated February 24, 2017 at 2:40 PM

    Congressman Donovan names 10 students to military academies

    STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — New York City students, 10 of them in fact, are indeed proud to have received certificates of honor from Congressman Dan Donovan, nominating them to U.S. military service academies.

    In order to be nominated, each teen was required to undergo a rigorous application process in which a local committee evaluated academic records, extracurricular activities, recommendations, and leadership skills.

    Donovan awarded four nominations to the U.S. Military Academy, four to the U.S. Naval Academy, one to the U.S. Air Force Academy, and one to the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.

    Congressman Donovan stated: “I’m honored to nominate the brightest students from our district to the U.S. service academies. Each nominee has worked hard and chosen the noble path of serving and defending our great nation. I applaud your patriotism and look forward to seeing your future accomplishments. It’s truly a privilege to help build the next generation of servicemen and women.”

    The ceremony took place on Staten Island at the SSG Michael Ollis VFW.

    The facility is named after hometown hero Army Staff Sergeant Michael Ollis, who stepped in front of a suicide bomber in Afghanistan to save a Polish soldier.

    Donovan has pushed for further recognition of Ollis’ heroism and valor, and he has sent a letter to the Secretary of the Army recommending him for the Congressional Medal of Honor. Ollis’s parents attended the event and addressed the student nominees.

    “Staff Sgt. Michael Ollis embodies the true American spirit. He gave his life for his country and his display of bravery, selflessness, and sacrifice is an example for all of us. The legacy of Staff Sgt. Ollis will live on through your service and dedication to protecting freedom.”

    The nominees must still earn admission to the service academy for which they were nominated. Congressman Donovan’s 2017 Service Academy picks are:

    U.S. Military Academy, Jonathon Carbonella, College of Staten Island, Jonathon Decarlo, Susan Wager High School, Patrick Orlando, Penn State University, Evan Tedesco, Staten Island Tech High School.
    U.S. Naval Academy, Michael Stumpf, Xavier High School, Lauren Casella, Tottenville High School, Najee Jenkins, Coney Island Prep High School and Joshua Maldonado, Xavarian High School
    U.S. Air Force Academy, Caleb Wong, Aviation Career & Technical High School
    U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, Matthew Bantis, Poly Prep High School.

  • Comedy Night at the VFW Post II on June 11th

    The SSG Michael Ollis Freedom Foundation is pleased to announce the 2nd annual Comedy Night at the VFW Post on June 11th at 7:00 PM.  This year we are hosting the event at the Labetti VFW Post (390 Hylan Blvd.), blocks from the Verrazano bridge.

    Call Tony at 718-517-1616 for tickets!!

    Call Tony at 718-517-1616 for tickets!!

    Details of the event:

    • Ticket prices range from $30 for a single ticket to $250 for a table of 10.
    • Ticket includes complementary beer & house for those over 21, soda also included.  Cash bar for other requests.
    • Ticket also includes food options including 6ft hero sandwiches, salads, coffee, cake.
    • A 50-50 raffle will be available with 1/2 of proceeds going to the SSG MOFF
    • All this AND a COMEDY SHOW!

    For tickets contact Tony at 718-517-1616 and leave a message.

  • Call to action for SSG Michael Ollis to receive the Medal of Honor

    Please read the excerpt from TaskAndPurpose.com below and write your Congress person.

    A Medal of Honor is the highest award for valor in action against an enemy force that a U.S. service member can receive. And while that honor should be reserved for bravest, most selfless among our troops, sometimes, it seems as though awards process misses in the mark.

    The number of people who have earned the Medal of Honor in the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars is relatively low. Comparatively, the Vietnam War awarded 258 Medals of Honor, and World War II had 464.

    Earlier this year, the Defense Department announced that it would be looking into its evaluation for valor awards. As a result, thousands of service members and veterans previously awarded will be considered for medal upgrades.

    In honor of National Medal of Honor Day,  Task & Purpose’s list of service members that could be awarded a Medal of Honor included SSG Michael Ollis.

    The list of US Army Medal of Honor recipients that awarded the medal for conduct and valor while serving in Afghanistan can be found here: http://www.history.army.mil/moh/afghanistan.html .

    Army Staff Sgt. Michael Ollis


    A car bomb breached FOB Ghazni in Afghanistan on Aug. 28, 2013. After the explosion, al Qaeda fighters launched an assault on the base that involved grenades, mortars, rockets and at least 10 suicide bombers. Fighting beside Polish Lt. Karol Cierpica during the attack, Ollis was killed when he moved to shield Cierpica from a suicide bomber. He was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart, the Silver Star and the Audie Murphy Medallion, as well as the Polish government’s highest military award: the Polish Medal of Honor.

  • 1st Annual NY Mets Fundraiser in Memory of SSG Michael Ollis

    Join the SSG Michael Ollis Freedom Foundation for a fun day at Citi Field​ on Saturday May 21st @ 4:10PM when they take on the Brewers!

    May 21st date set for SSG MOFF Fundraiser at Citi Field. Purchase your tickets before the run out!

    May 21st date set for SSG MOFF Fundraiser at Citi Field.
    Purchase your tickets before the run out!

    Ticket Only ($60) :Use this link to Purchase tickets directly: mets.com/michaelollis   

    NY Mets POC: Andrew Hicks 718­-559­-3029

    Bus Option ($88) : Bus departs at 1:00 from Staten Island Michael Ollis VFW Post (575 Mill Road) available for additional $28 cost.

    Bus POC: Bob Ollis fortdrum1988@gmail.com or call 718­-667­-3204 for info

    Mets Bucket Hat Day Fundraiser for SSG MOFF

    Mets Bucket Hat Day Fundraiser for SSG MOFF on May 21

    The first 15,000 fans will receive a Mets bucket hat upon entry to the ballpark, and a portion of each ticket will be going back to the Foundation.





  • Staten Island Ferry to be named Posthumously for SSG Michael Ollis

    Story Courtesy of Staten Island Live

    CITY HALL — A Staten Island Ferry will honor the heroism of the late Staff Sgt. Michael Ollis.

    Ferry pictureThe first of three new vessels being added to the city’s ferry fleet in the next four years will be named for the New Dorp native who died at age 24 while saving a Polish soldier in Afghanistan.

    The Staff Sgt. Michael Ollis is expected to begin service in early 2019.

    Mayor Bill de Blasio and Borough President James Oddo met with Ollis’ family on Thursday morning and will announce the naming at the St. George Ferry Terminal.

    “Staff Sergeant Ollis represented the very best of our city,” de Blasio said in a statement. “For decades to come, the Staff Sergeant Michael Ollis will be an icon and a point of pride for Staten Island and the whole city.”

    The push to honor Ollis with a ferry began soon after the city announced three aging boats would be retired and replaced. The idea received a groundswell of support on Staten Island, with one petition getting nearly 5,700 signatures. Oddo made an official recommendation to de Blasio in May 2014.

    “Naming the ferry after him not only honors Sgt. Ollis, it also pays tribute to every Staten ferry2Islander who has made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of this nation, and all those men and women who have put on a uniform in service of this country,” Oddo said in a statement.

    Ollis, a graduate of Michael Petrides High School, enlisted in 2006 and served one tour of duty in Iraq and two in Afghanistan.

    On Aug. 28, 2013, during his third deployment in Afghanistan, the forward operating base where Ollis was serving was raided. Ollis died after stepping in front of a wounded Polish soldier to shield him from an insurgent’s suicide vest.

    The Polish officer, Lt. Karol Cierpica, later named his newborn son Michael to recognize Ollis and his sacrifice.

    Robert and Linda Ollis also began a charity in their son’s name — the Staff Sgt. Ollis Freedom Foundation — to help soldiers and veterans.

    Ollis has been posthumously honored with the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart, the Silver Star and the Audie Murphy Medallion, as well as the Polish government’s highest military award, the Polish Medal of Honor.

    “Naming a vessel in his honor is a fitting tribute to his service,” Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg said in a statement.

    The three new ferries will be funded with some $314 million in federal, state and city money and grants. The 4,500-passenger vessels will be designed to operate more safely in extreme weather and will be modeled after the popular John F. Kennedy ferryboats, complete with outdoor promenades.

    These will be the first new class of boats added to the city’s eight-ferry fleet in a decade. They will replace the old Kennedy ship, the Andrew J. Barberi and the Samuel I. Newhouse.

    The second new ferry is expected to be delivered in fall 2019 and the third is coming in early 2020. The new vessels are still in the design phase, with a bid to be issued this spring and the “notice to proceed” for the first of the three boats to be put out by the end of the year.

    The city has yet to decide what to name the two other boats, though plenty of suggestions have been made.

    Oddo has said in the past that politicians like himself shouldn’t get bridges, buildings, boats or even urinals named for them. He argues that distinction should be given to heroes like Ollis.

    “Staff Sgt. Michael Ollis is a true Staten Island hero and will be a perpetual reminder that we can and must be about something greater than ourselves, in all ways big and small,” Oddo said.

    The Department of Transportation and de Blasio’s office make final naming decisions.

  • Sculpture Unveiling & Dedication

    On Wednesday November 4th at 12:00 the SSG Michael Ollis Sculpture and Memorial Plaza was unveiled and dedicated at Michael J Petrides school on Staten Island.  Under crystal clear skies, a gathering of over one thousand people came to pay tribute to Staten Island’s hometown hero.   Speakers included politicians such as  Staten Island’s borough president James Oddo, Michael’s former teachers such as Danielle Cundari, and family members including a touching essay from Michael’s nephew William Loschiavo.

    Paver dedications are still available at the site. For more information and the ordering form see this earlier post: http://www.ssgmichaelollisfreedomfoundation.org/michael-ollis-statue-plaza-memorial-pavers-available/

    Additional Pictures can be found at the Hanlon website: http://www.hanlonsculpture.com/portfoliogallery/civic-sculptures/staff-sgt-michael-ollis-memorial-plaza/

    Michael J Petrides school is located at 715 Ocean Terrace, Staten Island NY, 10301.




  • Can’t believe it’s been 2 years…


    Full video link: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B8PphcoLXRGjVTFPREZMNmtwV2s

    SI Live article commemorating the 2 year anniversary: http://www.silive.com/news/index.ssf/2015/08/second_anniversary_of_sgt_mich.html