Alwyn Cashe

Alwyn Cashe was born in Sanford Florida on July 13, 1970. He was a high-spirited child, and his sister remembered his joy, for example, when she bought him a ten-speed bike. His other interests included hunting and fishing. He was raised in Oviedo, Florida, and graduated from Oviedo High School in 1988. Following his graduation, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and served during the 1991 Gulf War and the later Iraq War. In a conversation with his family, Cashe stated his determination to never leave a man behind, saying “I’m doing the job I was trained to do. I have to take care of my boys.”

On October 17, 2005, while on his second deployment to Iraq as a member of Company A, 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, 3d Infantry Division, Cashe was on a route clearance operation outside Samarra, north of Baghdad, when the M2 Bradley Fighting Vehicle he was in was damaged by an improvised explosive device that ruptured the hull and fuel cell. With flames enveloping the armored vehicle, Cashe, covered in fuel, went into the hull of the Bradley, and pulled out the driver who was on fire. With other soldiers still inside the burning vehicle, and enemy small arms fire incoming from a nearby tree line, Cashe rushed back and pulled out additional soldiers and helped extinguish their flames. Even as he became engulfed in the flames and despite continued enemy gun fire, he returned to the vehicle twice and saved six of his fellow soldiers.

Despite severe second and third-degree burns covering over 70% of his body, he refused to be evacuated before his fellow soldiers. The severely wounded Cashe was taken to Brooke Army Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. Despite attempts to stabilize his wound, he succumbed to his injuries on November 8, 2005, surrounded by his family. He was posthumously awarded the Silver Star on November 11, 2005.

He is interred at Restlawn Cemetery in Sanford, Florida. A U.S. Army Reserve Center in Sanford, Florida; and an Oviedo, Florida post office are named in his honor. On May 20, 2021, the Third Infantry Division ceremonial garden at Fort Stewart, Georgia was named the Sgt. 1st Class Alwyn Cashe Garden.

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