President signs law to posthumously award Oviedo soldier for burning vehicle rescue in Iraq

DoD expected to recommend Medal of Honor for Alwyn Cashe

This undated image provided by the U.S. Army, shows Alwyn C. Cashe. In late August 2020, Defense Secretary Mark Esper endorsed awarding the Medal of Honor to a soldier who sustained fatal burns while acting to save fellow soldiers in Iraq in 2005. Army Sgt. 1st Class Alwyn C. Cashe of Florida previously received the Silver Star for his actions. (U.S. Army via AP) (Associated Press)

OVIEDO, Fla. – A soldier from Oviedo who died from injuries he suffered while trying to save his fellow soldiers from a burning vehicle in Iraq is one step closer to being posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroism.

President Donald Trump on Friday signed H.R. 8276, a bill introduced by Rep. Stephanie Murphy (R-Fla.) to recognize Army Sgt. 1st Class Alwyn Cashe.

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The bill was presented to the president for approval on Nov. 24 and included a provision to waive the federal time limitations. The Medal of Honor is supposed to be awarded within five years of the exemplary act but Murphy said Congress regularly waives that requirement, as was the case this time.

Since the bill has now been signed, the Department of Defense can recommend that Trump formally award the medal to Cashe.

“Now that we have enacted bipartisan legislation to remove the only obstacle standing in the way of Alwyn receiving the Medal of Honor, which the Department of Defense has already concluded he earned, I hope the President will move swiftly to announce the award,” Murphy said in a news release. “The story of Alwyn’s heroism has inspired so many people and I cannot wait for the day that his family will receive the nation’s highest award for combat valor on his behalf.”

Cashe was in Samara, Iraq on Oct. 17, 2005 when a roadside bomb exploded next to the Bradley Fighting Vehicle he used while on patrol. He wasn’t injured in the initial blast but suffered burns to about 70% of his body when he ran back into the vehicle to save soldiers who were trapped inside.

He was 35 years old and was laid to rest in Sanford.

“America can never fully repay the ultimate debt paid by our heroes like Alwyn Cashe—but what we can do is honor them for their sacrifices. This is a monumental accomplishment for Alwyn’s family, who have waited 15 years for this moment,” Rep. Michael Waltz (R-Fla.) said in a news release. “I’m very optimistic the Department of Defense will recommend this award. I’m very grateful and proud to have been part of this bipartisan effort—and I’m looking forward to the ceremony at the White House to bestow this great honor to Alwyn and show our nation’s profound gratitude to his family for his selfless act of courage.”