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Fort Drum soldier dies in Afghanistan IED attack

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A Fort Drum infantryman died Wednesday in Afghanistan when his unit was attacked in Ghazni province with an IED, small arms and indirect fire.

Staff Sgt. Michael H. Ollis, 24, of Staten Island, served with the 2nd Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division. He had been in the Army since August 2006.

A Military Times report said Sgt. Ollis died during a complex Taliban attack on a NATO base in the province, which also injured 10 Polish soldiers and dozens of Afghans. The report said the attack, which included an improvised explosive device, was an attempt by the Taliban to take advantage of soldier departures.

A news release from Fort Drum said Sgt. Ollis’s deployment to Afghanistan was the third of his career, after deploying to Iraq from April 2008 to May 2009 and to Afghanistan from June 2010 to May 2011.

Among Sgt. Ollis’s career awards are the Bronze Star, four Army Commendation Medals, two Army Achievement Medals, the Valorous Unit Award, the Meritorious Unit Commendation, two Army Good Conduct Medals, National Defense Service Medal, two Afghanistan Campaign Medals, the Iraq Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.

Sgt. Ollis is survived by his mother and father, identified by the Staten Island Advance as Robert and Linda Ollis.

The newspaper said the parents were vacationing in Europe when their son died, and were believed to be traveling to Dover Air Force Base, Del., to receive his body. Mr. Ollis is a Vietnam veteran.

The newspaper reported Army data indicating that Sgt. Ollis was the 2,262nd U.S. service member to die in Afghanistan since the war began.

The Military Times report can be found at http://wdt.me/vMTgmS.

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