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President Biden today honored Sgt. First Class Alwyn Cashe posthumously with the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest military honor. Cashe became the first Black soldier to receive the award for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Cashe’s heroism was on full display as he pulled his fellow soldiers from a burning envoy vehicle in Iraq in 2005. While on patrol, Cashe and his unit hit an IUD. It exploded under the vehicle and caused it to burst into flames.
When Cashe went into the vehicle to rescue his soldiers, his uniform, drenched in fuel, caught fire. With second and third degree burns covering most of his body, Cashe still ensured everyone was out of the vehicle.
Sgt. First Class Cashe then refused extraction from the area by medics until all of his fellow soldiers were flown to safety.
In his remarks, President Biden noted that Cashe’s first words upon regaining his ability to speak were “are my boys okay?”, in reference to his fellow troops.
Sgt. First Class Alwyn Cashe died from his injuries a few weeks later, surrounded by his loved ones.
“Alwyn Cashe was a soldier’s soldier,” Biden said. “A warrior who literally walked through fire for our troops.”
The President became emotional as he turned to address Cashe’s family.
“I am so honored to give Alwyn the recognition he earned,” Biden said.
Cashe one of three soldiers honored by Biden today
Biden also bestowed the Medal of Honor on two other soldiers, one posthumously.
Sgt. First Class Christopher Celiz was killed when he stood before enemy fire and sacrificed himself to allow a wounded soldier to be evacuated. Master Sgt. Earl Plumlee risked his own life and sustained severe injuries protecting his soldiers in the attack.
The ceremony came after a decade of advocacy from members of congress who sought to ensure the men received the honor they are due.