Willie C. Bissic
Spec 4
U. S. Army
Dates of Service: 08/07/1964 - 07/15 /1966
Cook, 207th MPs/93rd Evacuation Hospital

Calvin was born in the Harmon Community of Lincoln Parish to L.C. Bissic and Annie Laural Williams Bissic. The fifth of six children, he graduated Grambling High School in 1959. Although drafted in 1963, he was deferred until he completed studies at Grambling State University. In 1963 he took part in Peace Corps training at the University of Minnesota in Puerto Rico. He returned to Grambling to earn a BS degree but was drafted before returning to school that fall. Calvin was willing to go. "I had a desire to do that," he says of entering the military. He took basic training at Fort Polk in Leesville, Louisiana, then completed advanced individual training at Fort Riley, Kansas as a cook's helper. Calvin was placed in the 207th MPs to cook. "I never cooked," he says. In 1965 he shipped out to Vietnam, sailing with personnel of the 93rd Evacuation Hospital. Arriving in October he was stationed near the Ben Hoa Air Base. "I think it's the best experience a person can go through," he says of the military. "It teaches you how to be disciplined. You understand what it is to get up in the morning and go to work and take care of yourself, look out for yourself, and not depend on others. It causes you to be self-dependent." Calvin prepared food for personnel of the 93rd Evacuation Hospital, sometimes cooking steaks three times a day. Work schedule for cooks was one day on and a day off. In leisure time he played softball and volleyball. Meanwhile, several members of his community back home wrote letters to him. "That was a good feeling," he remarks. He remembers celebrities, such as John Wayne, Hugh O'Brien and Ann-Margaret coming to entertain troops. He also met television correspondents such as Dan Rather and Marvin Kalb. Calvin spent nine months in Vietnam, then flew back to San Francisco when his tour of duty ended. He was back in Shreveport on July 15, 1966. That fall he returned to Grambling State University and earned his degree in agriculture and animal science in 1967. In 1975 he was certified in library science and education and began teaching, first at Lisbon in Claiborne Parish. He then earned a teaching certificate at Louisiana Tech, and after student teaching in Dubach he transferred to Webster Junior High School in Minden, where he remained for 29 years. On November 11, 1979 he married Mary Bradley.