An Oviedo post office would be renamed for fallen war hero Army Sgt. 1st Class Alwyn Crendall Cashe in a bill introduced in Congress Thursday by U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy.

Cache died from severe burns and other wounds he sustained during action in Iraq in 2005, but not before he saved the lives of several of his soldiers during that battle. For his valor he received the Silver Star Medal. He’s also being considered posthumously now for a Medal of Honor, Murphy stated.

Murphy’s bill would rename the Oviedo post office at 567 E. Franklin St. as “The Sergeant First Class Alwyn Crendall Cashe Post Office Building.”

“We cannot bring Sgt. 1st Class Cashe back, or erase the pain felt by those who loved and served alongside this remarkable Floridian—but we can pay tribute to his life and his legacy,” Murphy stated in a news release. “I’m proud to introduce a bill to engrave Sgt. 1st Class Cashe’s name on a plaque and designate a federal building in his memory, so the public never forgets this American soldier—this son of Oviedo—who laid down his life for his friends in service to our country.”

Cashe was a Sanford native who grew up in Oviedo, and graduated from Oviedo High School.

According to a narrative Murphy presented in a speech on the floor of the House of Representatives on Thursday, on Oct. 17, 2005, in an Iraqi province north of Baghdad, “the Bradley Fighting Vehicle carrying him, six other American soldiers, and the squad’s interpreter struck an IED. The blast instantly killed the interpreter and ruptured the vehicle’s fuel cell. Flames engulfed the vehicle. Initially only lightly injured, but covered in fuel, Sgt. 1st Class Cashe descended into the hull, extracted the driver, who was on fire, and extinguished the flames. At this point, six soldiers remained in the vehicle, one of whom managed to open the rear hatch.

“Sgt. 1st Class Cashe rushed to the back of the vehicle, reached into the hot flames, and started pulling out soldiers,” Murphy continued. “His fuel-soaked uniform caught fire and the flames spread quickly over his body. Despite what must have been terrible pain, he returned to the vehicle twice more to extract his soldiers—all while he was still on fire and exposed to enemy gunfire.

“By the time all the soldiers were saved from the vehicle, Sgt. 1st Class Cashe’s injuries were the most severe. Second- and third-degree burns covered 72 percent of his body. Nevertheless, he refused to be evacuated until all his soldiers were medevaced out before him,” she said.

“When he arrived at the U.S. military hospital at Balad Air Base in Iraq, he was still fully conscious. What remained of his uniform had melted to his skin. Yet he tried to fight off the nurses, insisting that they treat everyone else first. Despite determined efforts to save his life at various hospitals abroad and in the states, he eventually succumbed to his wounds on Nov. 8, 2005—surrounded by members of his biological family and his Army family,” she said.

About The Author

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 scott@floridapolitics.com.

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