Baylot worthy of Army’s recognition and our respect

Published 6:43 pm Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Alex Baylot, a research civil engineer, was recently awarded the Bronze Order of the de Fleury Medal — one of the highest honors given to employees of the U.S. Army.

In the release from the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center about the award, Baylot is known “for his expertise in mobility. He spent 22 years in the Geotechnical and Structures Laboratory, where his skills were used in combat simulations to assess the effectiveness of tanks and other ground vehicles on the battlefield.”

But his work with the U.S. Army, at ERDC and assistance to our country’s warfighters, is not the only reason Baylot should be honored and recognized. It is the example he provides.

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Baylot was born and raised in Warren County and graduated from Warren Central High School at 17 before later attending Mississippi State University and developing into the engineer he is today and doing the work he is honored for having done.

It is that kind of example, that kind of homegrown talent that deserves further recognition and additional honors.

He is an example of the talented, skilled and intelligent men and women produced by our public school system that should be emulated by others and looked up to by our youth. 

But today Baylot’s service is at a standstill as he works to solve his toughest problem; cancer.

According to a post on caringbridge.org, Baylot’s wife, Paula, describes his diagnosis, his rounds of treatment and complications as the cancer has grown larger, stronger.

“In October of 2018, Alex went to the doctor because of ongoing headaches. We thought it wasn’t important until he threw up,” Paula writes. “He was sent for an MRI, only to discover he had glioblastoma brain cancer. The deadliest form of brain cancer there is.”

Almost immediately, Baylot was in Houston for a surgery that removed 90 percent of the tumor, however “the portion not removed was located in the ganglia portion of his brain which is responsible for all communication. Two days later, he could no longer talk or use the right side of his body.”

At the time of the surgery, he was given 10-to-14 months to live Paula writes. This month marks 15 months.

Baylot, today, requires “around the clock sitters and some equipment not covered by insurance,” Paula writes. “While we continue to seek treatment in the form of chemotherapy, he will eventually require another resection if strong enough. If not strong enough we will eventually move to hospice care.”

Baylot is worthy of recognition and honor recently given to him by the U.S. Army, but what he has done, how he has persevered and how he has continued to fight cancer is as worthy of recognition and honor.

Baylot is an example our children should look up to as they grow in their education, and an example of how to fight against all odds.