Military Photo of the Day: I Have Your Back

Stream contributing senior editor Tom Sileo's book about U.S. Army hero Michael Ollis comes out today.

By Tom Sileo Published on June 4, 2024

Future U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Michael Ollis gives a salute while visiting a military museum as a child.

When I first joined The Stream back in 2015, I wrote an article about a fallen American hero named Michael Ollis. Today, more than nine years later, my book about Staff Sgt. Ollis – I Have Your Back: How an American Soldier Became an International Hero – is being published by St. Martin’s Press.

In the above photo, which appears inside the book, young “Mikey” is wearing a U.S. Army fatigue jacket that once belonged to his father, who was wounded while serving in Vietnam. Driven by his father’s honorable service and the 9/11 terrorist attack on his native New York City, Michael was determined to become a soldier. The bond between Michael and his dad, Bob Ollis, makes I Have Your Back a perfect Father’s Day gift.

Because of Michael’s final act of heroism on August 28, 2013, a Polish army soldier named Karol Cierpica survived the war in Afghanistan. He returned to Poland, and in 2015, Karol became a dad. He named his son “Michael” after the American soldier who saved his life.

I hope you enjoy reading I Have Your Back, which is available now. I would also like to invite you to a book signing tonight at the Flagship Brewery in Michael’s hometown of Staten Island, as well as many more events we’ll be holding over the next few weeks. Thanks for your support!





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