WALTER BICKSTON

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7 entries
  • "Drove for the General at Ft. Bragg 1981 - 1983: He was a..."
    - Mark Doherty
  • "I would like to say what came to mind when I read about..."
    - MIke Key
  • "Servered with Col Bickston when was the Chief of Staff with..."
    - Larry Owen
  • "My deepest sympathy for the Bickston Family. You are all in..."
    - Sandra Ramagos
  • "I was his "Iron Brigade" engineer in the 2nd ID. In Apr 78..."
    - LTC (RET) Terrence Cooney
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BICKSTON BG WALTER J. BICKSTON (Age 85) United States Army (Ret.) Passed away at home Monday, September 11, 2017 in Northern Virginia. He was born in New York on December 23, 1931, as one of 16 live births and grew up knowing the value of hard work and integrity. He was a champion for the underdog. He supported himself while attending Bronx High School of Science where he met Barbara S. Parmet who he went on to marry in 1952. He attended CCNY in the ROTC program, earning his B.A. in Philosophy. He later earned a Masters in Communication while simultaneously attending the Army War College in Carlisle, PA. Walter's military service began with his commission as second lieutenant in 1954 and culminated with his retirement as a Brigadier General in 1987. He was a member of the Third Army Rifle Team at Fort Bragg in 1956, returning 26 years later as Chief of Staff of the XVIII Airborne Corps. In 1956 he took his young wife, daughter Kathy and chubby son Mark to Japan. His first tour in Vietnam was in 1962-3 where he acquired combat expertise that he shared with the British as an exchange officer to the 22nd Cheshire Regiment before returning to Vietnam for a second tour. He served in Stuttgart, Germany and then commanded RDASIA, an Army computer agency in Radford, VA. His enthusiasm for sleeping on the ground led to an extended tour in Korea, first as Brigade Commander then as Chief of Staff of the Second Infantry Division under General "Barbed Wire" Bob Kingston. He served as Director of Operations, J3 of the Rapid Deployment Joint Task Force, now known as CentCom. His final assignment was as Chief of Staff, Sixth US Army on the Presidio of San Francisco. After military retirement, he returned to Virginia where he worked for BDM Inc, finally retiring as Vice President for Defense and Intelligence Programs. A partial list of his decorations and badges speaks to his courage and sacrifice. These include the Distinguished Service Medal, Silver Star (with Oak Leaf Cluster), Legion of Merit (with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters), Soldier's Medal, Bronze Star with V device (with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters), Purple Heart (with Oak Leaf Cluster), Combat Infantryman Badge, Master Parachutist Badge, and Pathfinder Badge. Though not much of a joiner of clubs and societies, Walter belonged to the Pershing Rifles at CCNY. He was a 32nd Degree Mason and was Master of his Blue Lodge in Japan. He is survived by his beloved wife Barbara; daughter, Kathleen Bickston; sons, Mark Bickston (Susan) and Stephen Bickston (Tamara). He is also survived by three loving grandchildren from Texas, Matthew Bickston (Laura), Luke Bickston (Erin) and Ashlye Underwood (Matt), as well as two great grandchildren, Porter and Connor and two loving granddaughters from Virginia, Lilah and Abigail. The grand-dogs are too many to list. His life's focus was to help and protect others. Throughout his life there were few conversations that did not include him asking what he could do to help. A private burial with Full Honors will be held at Arlington National Cemetery in the months to follow. A private burial with Full Honors will be held at Arlington National Cemetery in the months to follow.
Published in The Washington Post on Sept. 24, 2017
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