The U.S. House of Representatives approved a bill on Tuesday honoring Iraq war hero Sgt. 1st Class Alwyn Cashe with the Medal of Honor. Photo courtesy of U.S. Army
Nov. 11 (UPI) -- A Senate 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 passed the House in September, and the Senate on Tuesday, both by unanimous consent.
It was filed after then-Defense Secretary Mark Esper wrote in August 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, from Oviedo, Fla., would be the first Black recipient of the Medal of Honor for service in Iraq and Afghanistan.
He pulled six fellow soldiers and their Afghan interpreter from a burning armored vehicle after a roadside bomb explosion, and later died in a Texas military hospital with third-degree burns on 72 percent of his body.
The bill, co-sponsored in the House by Rep. Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., Rep. Michael Waltz, R-Fla., and Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, waives a five-year statute of limitations for normal consideration for Medal of Honor awards.
The bill calls for the president to award the medal "for acts of valor during Operation Iraqi Freedom."
"I am so grateful the Senate passed our bill to pave the way for the President to award Alwyn Cashe the Medal of Honor," Murphy, who represents Cashe's hometown in Congress, said in a statement on Tuesday.
"He is deserving of the Medal of Honor, our nations highest military award for bravery on the battlefield and we urge President Trump to quickly sign our bill into law to make sure that happens," Crenshaw said.
Although Senate passage of the bill was slowed by the coronavirus, which afflicted several legislators, and a contentious battle over a Supreme Court justice, Waltz noted that the honor for Cashe had bipartisan support.
"I'm incredibly proud to see both sides of the aisle, in the House and the Senate, come together to honor Cashe's legacy and award him the Medal of Honor," Waltz said on Tuesday in a statement.
The bill now awaits President Donald Trump's signature.