Oviedo Army Sgt. 1st Class Alwyn Cashe to be awarded posthumous Medal of Honor

Army Sgt. 1st Class Alwyn Crendall Cashe
Cashe rescued seven soldiers from a burning vehicle in Iraq, then died of his own injuries.

Oviedo Army Sgt. 1st Class Alwyn Cashe — who rescued seven of his fellow soldiers from a burning, bombed vehicle and then died of his own injuries in 2005 — will receive the Medal of Honor.

President Joe Biden announced in a news release Friday that he would award the medal posthumously to Cashe “for his acts of gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty, while serving as a Platoon Sergeant with Company A, 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, 3d Brigade, 3d Infantry Division in Salah Ad Din Province, Iraq on 17 October 2005, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.”

Biden also announced Medals of Honor would be awarded to two other soldiers, one of them also posthumously.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy and Republican U.S. Rep. Michael Waltz, who’ve been lobbying for the medal for years and even got a law changed so that Cashe would be eligible, hailed the news.

“I am overjoyed that Alwyn Cashe is being awarded the Medal of Honor,” Murphy, whose district includes Oviedo and Sanford, said in a news release. “I wish this amazing man were alive to receive it himself. I am so happy for his family and fellow soldiers who fought for years to ensure that Alwyn received the recognition he earned. This nation is beyond grateful for his service and ultimate sacrifice.”

“America can never fully repay the ultimate debt paid by our heroes like Alwyn Cashe — the best we can do is bestow the nation’s highest honor. This is a monumental accomplishment for the entire Cashe family, who has waited 16 years for this moment,” said Waltz, an Army combat veteran himself whose district is just north of Murphy’s. “Alwyn, without a doubt, is worthy of the Medal of Honor — and I’m so proud to see him recognized appropriately for his heroism and acts of valor.”

Cashe was born in Sanford and raised in Oviedo. He joined the Army after graduating from Oviedo High School in 1989.

In 2005, he was deployed to Iraq. During a night-time patrol near an enemy laden village, the Bradley Fighting Vehicle Cashe was commanding was attacked by enemy small arms fire and an improvised explosive device, which disabled the vehicle and caused it to become engulfed in flames.

Under enemy fire — and at times literally on fire — Cashe rescued the driver and six other soldiers, pulling them from the vehicle. He got them to a medical evacuation point, where he selflessly refused medical evacuation himself until all of the other wounded soldiers were evacuated first.

He later died of his injuries.

For his valor, he received the Silver Star Medal.

Ever since, Cashe’s family, in recent years led by his sister Kasinal Cashe White, campaigned to have him awarded the Medal of Honor. They eventually drew in Murphy in late 2017, and Waltz about a year later.

By that time, a five-year statute of limitations had expired for Medal of Honor nominations, and Cashe no longer was eligible.

Last year, Murphy of Winter Park, Waltz of St. Augustine Beach, and Republican Rep. Dan Crenshaw of Texas pushed through House Resolution 8276, waiving the five-year time limit by directly authorizing the President to award the medal “for acts of valor during Operation Iraqi Freedom.” Then President Donald Trump signed the resolution  a year ago — Dec. 5, 2020 — but did not award the medal.

In 2018 Murphy pushed through another bill, and Trump signed it, to rename the Oviedo post office at 567 E. Franklin St. as “The Sergeant First Class Alwyn Crendall Cashe Post Office Building.”

Scott Powers

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at [email protected].


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