WASHINGTON -- When the roadside bomb detonated, it ripped through the fuel tank of the Bradley Fighting Vehicle and ignited like napalm. The seven men seated inside were knocked unconscious and had no chance to escape the fire.
But the gunner, Sgt. 1st Class Alwyn Cashe, managed to crawl out of the burning wreckage. Wounded and drenched in diesel fuel, he pulled the Bradley’s driver from his seat before the flames reached there, dragging him to safety.
And then he went back.
The 16-year Army veteran had seen a dozen of his men die on that tour in Iraq, and he couldn’t bear to lose another. His uniform caught fire as he desperately tried to open the Bradley’s hatch.