Alwyn Cashe showed the bravery of a superhero in combat, saving six fellow soldiers during an ambush. Now he has his own comic book to retell his story.
Sgt. 1st Class Alwyn Cashe is featured in the latest edition of the Medal of Honor Graphic Novel series published by the Association of the United States Army. The book covers Cashe’s early life, Army career, and final heroic combat actions. Cashe died from wounds he suffered while rushing multiple times into the burning hulk of a Bradley Fighting Vehicle to save members of his platoon after an improvised explosive device attack in Iraq in January 2005.
Some of the most prominent artists in the graphic novel industry worked on the Cashe book. The script was written by Chuck Dixon, whose previous work includes Batman, The Punisher, and The ‘Nam. The visual artwork was produced by industry veterans PJ Holden and Peter Pantazis. Holden has worked on Judge Dredd, Battlefields, and World of Tanks, while Pantazis has worked on Justice League, Superman, and Black Panther. The book’s lettering was by Troy Peteri, who has worked on Spider-Man, Iron Man, and X-Men.
Joseph Craig, who directs AUSA’s Book Program, said the graphic novels are an effort to connect younger generations with Army history and values. AUSA is a non-profit educational and professional development association that bills itself as the “voice” of the active duty service.
Craig said AUSA “tested the waters” for a Medal of Honor-themed graphic novel at the end of 2018 with a volume centered on recipient Alvin York, aimed at the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. When that book was a hit with audiences, Craig said, they expanded to 20 volumes, covering Army Medal of Honor winners from the Civil War to the Global War on Terror.
Cashe is the second recipient from the post-9/11 wars to get his own graphic novel, along with Sal Giunta, who received the Medal for his actions saving his platoon from an intense Taliban ambush on Oct. 25, 2007.
Craig said that as he and the artists worked on Cashe’s book, they were amazed by the soldier’s selfless actions that saved six soldiers.
“The fact that he returned over and over to this burning vehicle — it’s not just a matter of reaction. This is a deliberate decision to go time and time again into the flames to help out his fellow soldiers and bring them to safety,” Craig said. “That takes an iron constitution and an incredible sense of courage to be able to return again and again to danger.“
Subscribe to Task & Purpose Today. Get the latest military news and culture in your inbox daily.
The graphic novel covers a snippet of Cashe’s childhood, depicting his early examples of his bravery. He joined the Army after high school in Oviedo, Florida.
The book covers Cashe’s deployments to the 1991 Gulf War and to the Balkans as a young soldier and a rotation as a Drill Sergeant. By 2005, Cashe was a Platoon Sergeant with Company A, 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division when he deployed to Iraq.
While on patrol in the Salah Ad Din Province on October 17th, 2005, Cashe commanded the lead Bradley in a convoy when an improvised explosive device triggered an ambush. The explosion ruptured the fuel lines and set the Bradley ablaze.
Despite the effects of the blast and heavy enemy gunfire, Cashe was able to escape and pull out the vehicle’s driver. He made three trips back into the Bradley as it burned, pulling out a total of six soldiers.
Cashe sustained second and third-degree burns over 72% of his body. Though he survived the attack, Cashe died on Nov. 8, 2005, at the Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas.
Initially awarded the Silver Star, Cashe was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor on Dec. 16, 2021.
You can read the full digital comic book on the AUSA website.
The latest on Task & Purpose