Nine years after the Iraq bomb attack, retired Sgt. Gary Mills has no doubt that Cashe deserves the Medal of Honor. Mills was inside the stricken Bradley fighting vehicle that day. He was on fire, his hands so badly burned that he couldn't open the rear troop door to free himself and other soldiers trapped inside the flaming vehicle.
Someone opened the door from outside, Mills recalls. A powerful hand grabbed him and yanked him to safety. He later learned that the man who had rescued him was Cashe, who seconds later crawled into the vehicle to haul out the platoon's critically burned medic while on fire himself.
"Sgt. Cashe saved my life," Mills said. "With all the ammo inside that vehicle, and all those flames, we'd have all been dead in another minute or two."
Four of the six soldiers rescued later died of their wounds at a hospital. An Afghan interpreter riding in the Bradley died during the bomb attack. Cashe refused to be loaded onto a medical evacuation helicopter until all the other wounded men had been flown.
A citation proposing the Medal of Honor for Cashe reads: "SFC Cashe's selfless and gallant actions allowed the loved ones of these brave soldiers to spend precious time by their sides before they succumbed."
Cashe's sister, Kasinal Cashe White, spent three weeks at her brother's bedside at a military hospital in Texas as doctors treated his extensive burns. She knew nothing of his actions during the bomb attack until a nurse asked her, "You know your brother's a hero, don't you?"
When Cashe was able to speak, White said, his first words were: "How are my boys?" — his soldiers, she said.
Then he began weeping, she said. He told her: "I couldn't get to them fast enough."
Cashe died Nov. 8, 2005.
"My little brother lived by the code that you never leave your soldiers behind," White said. "That wasn't just something from a movie. He lived it."
White says her family hopes Cashe is awarded the medal while his mother, who is 89, is still alive.
08 December 2014
SFC Cashe is the epitome of selfless sacrifice.
Posted by Brant at 20:32