On Aug. 28, 2013, a car pulled up to Forward Operating Base Ghazni in Afghanistan. When it reached the eastern side of the base, the driver set off a 3,000-pound bomb that blew a hole in the wall.
Troops on base who ran to the blast site to aid the wounded met 10 insurgents in suicide vests, armed with assault rifles, firing mortar shells, and throwing hand grenades.
Twenty-four-year-old Staff Sgt. Michael Ollis with the 10th Mountain Division was stationed inside a bunker when the explosion went off, but took off toward the bomb blast’s smoke plume. Along the way, he joined forces with a Polish officer he did not know and a team of Special Forces soldiers, according to Military Times.
Together, the troops killed eight of the insurgents wearing suicide vests.
Someone in the group killed a ninth insurgent after he attempted to throw a grenade, and a tenth emerged from hiding. He advanced on Ollis and Polish 2nd Lt. Karol Cierpica, detonating his vest.
Ollis stepped forward, shielding Cierpica from the blast, saving the Polish lieutenant’s life, but sacrificing his own.
Ollis 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.
“His story just shows you the character of my son, who always thought of the next guy and never really about himself," his father Robert told Army Times.
Though the men were strangers, Ollis has become a huge facet of Cierpica’s life. His son, born Jan. 11, 2015, was named Michael for the soldier who saved his father’s life. And, in Poland, Cierpica is establishing a foundation for veterans, which will also be named for Ollis.
Since 2013, Ollis’ family has grown close with Cierpica despite the fact that they live in New York, and he lives in Poland.
"I think the relationship helps in a way because we know Michael isn't forgotten. So it helps us heal, actually," his mother Linda said.
Earlier this year, the Defense Department announced that it would be looking into its evaluation for valor awards, including the Medal of Honor. As a result, thousands of service members and veterans previously awarded will be considered for medal upgrades. Ollis may be one of them.
Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.
U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Karl Munson pilots a 26-foot boat while Petty Officer 2nd Class Gabriel Diaz keeps an eye on a boarding team who is inspecting a 79-foot shrimp boat in the Gulf of Mexico, off the coast of New Orleans, La., on April 27, 2005
Radio transmissions to the U.S. Coast Guard are usually calls for help from boaters, but one captain got on the radio recently just to say thanks to the men and women who are currently working without pay.
DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump traveled to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware on Saturday to receive the remains of four Americans killed in a suicide bombing in northern Syria.
Trump, locked in a battle with congressional Democrats that has led to a nearly month-long partial government shutdown, announced his trip via a pre-dawn tweet, saying he was going "to be with the families of 4 very special people who lost their lives in service to our Country!"
Former President George W. Bush is calling for an end to the partial government shutdown, which is about to hit the one-month mark and is currently the longest shutdown in US history.
In an appeal made on Instagram, the 43rd president called on "leaders on both sides to put politics aside, come together, and end this shutdown." The caption was posted with an image of him and former First Lady Laura Bush giving pizza to their Secret Service detail.