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Florida man posthumously awarded Medal of Honor

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A Florida man has been posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor after President Donald Trump signed legislation that waived the statute of limitations connected to the award. The Medal of Honor recognizes conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty. Generally, the Medal is awarded five years after the actions that gave rise to the award.

In October 2005, while deployed to Iraq, Sargent First Class Alwyn  Cashe saved the lives of multiple soldiers after their fighting vehicle hit an improvised explosive device and caught fire.  Cashe, who was born in Sanford, Florida, and raised in Oviedo, repeatedly returned to the burning vehicle to pull his soldiers out of the flames, all while he himself was on fire and exposed to enemy gunfire. 

Cash suffered burns over more than 70 percent of his body. He later passed away from his wounds.

On September 16, US. Reps. Stephanie N. Murphy, Michael Waltz, both of Florida, and US Rep. Dan Crenshaw of Texas cosponsored H.R. 8276, a bill to authorize the President to posthumously award the Medal of Honor to Alwyn Cashe for acts of valor during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

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That bill was passed by the US House on September 22. 

A twin bill S. 4661 was later introduced into the US Senate Sen. Tom Cotton and co-sponsored a bi-partisan group of senators including Marco Rubio and Rick Scott both of Florida and Joe Manchin of W. Virginia.

That bill cleared the Senate in November. 

On Dec. 4, H.R. 8276 was signed into law by President Donald Trump.

Rubio said the legislation recognizes Cashe’s courage.

“I am grateful the President has signed this legislation that will allow his legacy of heroic service to be given the honor and recognition he deserves,” he said.   

Waltz said that the new law honors service members for their sacrifices.

“America can never fully repay the ultimate debt paid by our heroes like Alwyn Cashe,” Waltz said. “But what we can do is honor them for their sacrifices.”

 

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