Rural Montana Life Community Groups
The Town of [Wild Horse] Plains, in the Cabinet Mountians Valley of western Montana, was named for the thousands of wild horses grazing in the mild winter months a century ago. The residents of the Plains area are the members of community groups who vision, plan, and work together on community goals.
About Charles W. Bickenheuser, EdD, OFS
My wife, Diane, and I are retired educators. I have taught grades 6, 9-12, undergraduates, and graduate students. I'm an English teacher in my bones, and when I had to, except for novels and poetry, I used books. I have a GED, two BAs with honours, one master's degree, and one doctorate. My doctorate is in education; my research interests are in cognitive language. My reading interest is in quantum mathematics, but I'm a reader — not a mathematician. Math helps me to understand AI, solar energy, and related technologies and applications.
Diane is a middle-school special education teacher of learning, and sometimes physically, disabled middle schoolers. We taught in eastern Washington, but we are Montanans! We have family from Missoula to Bozeman.
Jennifer, our oldest daughter, teaches math at North Dakota State University. This spring, she will finish her Ph.D. in mathematics and is on a tenured faculty track. Our younger daughter, Alisa, who has a brilliant mind for physics, prefers business and owns half of either two or three small businesses in Montana. Diane and I have four young adult grandchildren from seniors in high school to underclassmen at university.
Dr. B’s last high school senior class in 2011
Before I was drafted, I lived in Israel for a few years at Ein Gev on the eastern shore of Lake Tiberius in the late 1960s. Munich, Germany, is my place of induction. Because I travelled in Europe and lived in Israel (and I was passingly fluent in German and Hebrew), I was directly assigned to the Special Forces training group at Ft. Bragg after basic training and airborne school. Special Forces remained my military unit through various assignments in the Army for over five years. I also served one tour in the Coast Guard, mostly teaching two to five-day classes in combat and trauma medicine to rescue crews. The Coast Guard's rescue teams, both airborne and sea, are among the bravest men and women in the world.
The motto of Special Forces is de oppresso liber — to the oppressed freedom.
I have three personal values:
Never leave anyone behind (Army Airborne)
Be consistent (from Socrates)
Forgive everything (Passover obligation)
Finally, there may be one or two suffixes after Bickenheuser: EdD for Doctor of Education and OFS for Order of Secular Franciscans. Diane and I are professed Secular Franciscans, an 800-year-old order of laity men and women, married or single, created by St. Francis of Assisi in the early 1200s.
Daughters Jennifer & Alisa,
Flathead Lake, 1987
Sgt. Bickenheuser at Duc Lop, 1971, in Vietnam. Just back from a ten-day recon near Nam Lear. I also served with the Mike Force at Dak To in 1970. My unit was 5th Special Forces, and I was a medical sergeant. In those days, I was called Doc, the name for a medic.
Two of Dr. B's graduate students in 2018 & 2019
Diane, or “Mrs. B.” to her kids. A special education class in recent years. The faces are greyed to protect student identity.
Charles & Diane