Maiden voyage of Staten Island Ferry vessel named after Army SSG Michael H. Ollis

Brooklyn, NY

Dedication of the Staten Island Ferry’s SSG Michael Ollis
By Jesse Figueroa, American Legion Post 1636, Brooklyn, N.Y.

14 February 2022 – Staten Island, N.Y.

I had the distinct privilege of commuting across the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge to the St. George Ferry Terminal and witnessing the dedication of the Staten Island Ferry’s SSG Michael Ollis. Michael was a U.S. Army veteran in our present Gulf War/global war on terrorism. He was born in New Dorm, Staten Island, N.Y., on 16 September 1988 to Robert and Linda Ollis. He was deployed to Afghanistan with the 2nd Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light). Unfortunately, Michael was killed in action on 28 August 2013 by giving up his own life by protecting a Polish soldier and his fellow soldiers during an attack by a suicide bomber at their Forward Operating Base (FOB Ghazni).
The ceremony kicked off with a pre-launch press conference and were aboard with me, fellow members of American Legion Posts 126 and 1320 of Staten Island, VFW Post 9587, various dignitaries and officials of New York City, New York State government and Congress. We, along with other veterans, the public and the press, enjoyed the view of New York Harbor. The trip was very comfortable as I was honored to interview his parents while aboard the newly launched ferry with their son’s name. A VFW post is in his name, known as SSG Michael Ollis VFW Post 9587 in Oakwood Beach, Staten Island, and her surrounding landmarks across from the Lower Manhattan skyline. His awards and decorations are the Army Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Overseas Service Ribbon, Purple Heart, Distinguished Service Cross (Posthumously awarded), Noncommissioned Officers Professional Development Ribbon, and various awards and decorations. There is a foundation in his honor called the SSG Michael Ollis Freedom Foundation at
SSG Michael Ollis Freedom Foundation | Dedicated to instilling confidence and upholding valor (

Be safe, be blessed and happy Valentine’s Day. Thanks, and God bless.

For God and Country,
Jesse Figueroa
American Legion Post 1636
Brooklyn, N.Y.

« Previous story
Next story »