Derek Baldwin (Baldy) was an amazing unsung hero in the SOF Community. He died approx 0300 on Saturday the 29th of September 2018 due to liver cancer failure.
Baldy served in 2nd BN, 75th Ranger Regiment, then served on an SFODA in 10th SFG, and then later served under JSOC for many years. I personally have known him since 2005 when he was one of my Military Free Fall instructors. The man absolutely loved jumping out of airplanes.
In 2010 while I was visiting a friend in the hospital from an IED explosion, I happened to see the name Baldwin on the door next to my friends room. I asked the staff if his nickname was "Baldy". Due to patient privacy I was told they couldn't tell me anything. So I walked in and Baldy was laying there. Fresh out of surgery from Colon Cancer. We brought in an X-Box and lots of things for him to help pass the time. Eventually he got a clean bill of health.
Several years later, the cancer came back in the form of Liver Cancer. The doctors and staff from USSOCOM made sure that he had the best treatment. He underwent many years of treatments at some of the best hospitals. A lot of them experimental treatments. Throughout all of that, Baldy would call and check on his friends to see how they and their families were. Always asking to see if he could help.
Ultimately, Baldy went the extra mile in everything he did. Unfortunately, even the past couple of years he fought death on a daily basis. I wish I could tell you the impact this man had on our nation's freedom. I simply can't due to the nature of the work he did. While I was visiting with Baldy and his family during the last hours of his life, multiple high ranking commanders called to check on him from different places in the world.
While all of his wonderful character traits were amazing, he did fail to properly plan for his death. There is about $20k in debt, plus another $11K in funeral arrangements. There will be lawyer fees as well for the execution of his estate. I am targeting $50k to help his son Mike Baldwin cover some of this.
Mike and his family have been care-taking for Baldy for the past 6 years. He and his son (little Derek) are pictured here with Baldy. I think this is the perfect fitting picture. Whatever money is left after the bills are paid, will go into a trust fund for Little Derek.
Duskin & Stephens Foundation has worked closely with us during this time of need. They have graciously offered to help in this non-profit donation.
I can't thank you enough for helping with this hero's family.