House approves Medal of Honor for Sgt. 1st Class Alwyn Cashe, who saved seven in Iraq

Sept. 23 (UPI) — A House bill passed on Tuesday brings Army Sgt. 1st Class Alwyn Cashe, who died in 2005 after sustaining injuries in Iraq, a step closer to the Medal of Honor.

The bill, which passed the House on Tuesday by unanimous consent, was filed after Defense Secretary Mark Esper wrote on Aug. 24 that Cashe should receive an upgrade from the Silver Star he received, for his actions in Iraq in 2005, to the Medal of Honor.

Cashe pulled six fellow soldiers and their Afghan interpreter from a burning armored vehicle after a roadside bomb explosion, and later died in a Texas hospital, with third-degree burns on 72 percent of his body.

Cashe, from Oviedo, Fla., would be the first Black recipient of the Medal of Honor for service in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“We are one step closer to ensuring that Alwyn Cashe receives the Medal of Honor he earned,” Rep. Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., one of four sponsors on the bill, said in a statement on Tuesday.

In addition to Murphy, the bill was sponsored by Rep. Michael Waltz, R-Fla., and Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas.

“His bravery in the face of danger has inspired so many already, and this is a significant step forward to properly recognize him for his heroism,” said Waltz.

The bill waives the federally mandated time of five years between the award, the country’s highest military honor for valor, and the actions which prompted it. The rule is frequently waived but it takes a concerted effort by members of Congress to guide an exemption.

The sponsoring members have begun coordinating their efforts with Senate members, who must also approve the waiver before the president can officially award the honor.

“He is deserving of the Medal of Honor, our nation’s highest military award for bravery on the battlefield, and we urge that the Senate quickly follow suit and pass our bill to make sure that happens,” Crenshaw said.

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House agrees to rename Grand River Post Office for police officer Andy Nowacki, who died in Iraq war

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. House of Representatives on Monday agreed to rename Grand River’s post office after Andrew “Ace” Nowacki, a Grand River police officer and U.S. Marine Corps lance corporal who was killed in Iraq by a roadside bomb in 2005.

A graduate of Lyndhurst’s Brush High School who resided in South Euclid, Nowacki was working as a the gunner on a Humvee, protecting a truck convoy in the Anbar region, south of Baghdad, when he died at age 24. His family set up a memorial scholarship fund in his name to assist public safety and nursing students. Nowacki joined the Grand River Police Department in 2001, and was part of its ready response team, honor guard and bike patrol.

“Andy’s commitment to community, dedication to service and desire to help others is something we should forever honor, and his sacrifice is something we should never forget,” said Bainbridge Township Republican Rep. Dave Joyce, who introduced the measure for the name change. The House of Representatives passed his bill on a noncontroversial voice vote.

“By renaming the Grand River Post Office after him, we can help ensure Andy will forever be remembered by the community he cared so deeply for and contributed so much to,” Joyce continued. “I thank my colleagues here in the House for helping me preserve the legacy of a true American patriot and urge my colleagues in the Senate to do the same.”

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