I recently learned about Army Sgt. 1st Class Alwyn Cashe. A push has begun by those who love him, commanded him, were led by him and never even met him to have the Medal of Honor bestowed upon him.
He received a Silver Star, the third highest honor, for his acts of valor.
This article by Leo Shane III about the fateful day of Sgt. 1st Class Cashe and his men on Military.com is a horrifying account of his heroism and sacrifice. It also provides his motivations that had so much to do with the families effected.
When the roadside bomb detonated, it ripped through the fuel tank of the Bradley Fighting Vehicle and ignited like napalm. The seven men seated inside were knocked unconscious and had no chance to escape the fire…Wounded and drenched in diesel fuel, he (Cashe) pulled the Bradley’s driver from his seat…
And then he went back.
…By the time he got in, all he had on was his body armor and helmet, the rest of his uniform in ashes or seared to his skin. With help, he carried one of his dying men out of the fire and back to horrified medics trying to triage their charred colleagues.
And then he went back.
(Please click the link for the entire story. It is very informative about this story and the process and problems of awarding medals of valor).
It has been said that the amount of people who have received the MOH has been far less than it should be since 2001. Ten in eleven years. The award process begins and can end with commanders.
What happened in Sgt. 1st Class Cashe’s case?
In a 2009 memo recommending Cashe’s award upgrade, his former operational division commander, Maj. Gen. Joe Taluto, wrote that the Silver Star seemed the most appropriate award at the time because “up to that point very few Soldiers were recommended for the Silver Star or above awards.” Sterner said that raises the question of whether commanders have been self-regulating the valor medals, aiming low because of an internal perception that nearly no actions are worthy of the Medal of Honor.
There was also the question of the presence of enemy attack during the rescue of his men. By all accounts, Sgt. 1st Class Cashe cared for his men, and that will remain above all else.
Cashe’s family said that time was full of pain and grief for the platoon sergeant, his only consolation being that some of those Army brothers had the chance to say goodbye to their families. (military.com)
We are blessed to have such men protecting our freedoms.