Marine Corps League renames detachment after Waller

Published 9:42 pm Tuesday, October 10, 2017

The local detachment of the U.S. Marine Corps League honored the man who helped found it Monday night at the Active Life Center.

The PFC George Eiland Detachment 1040 officially changed its name Monday to the Charles F. Waller detachment 1040. Waller helped organize the current unit in 1999. Waller, a first sergeant, served 30 years in the United States Marine Corps with combat tours in Korea and Vietnam.

He was also part of the Battle of Chosin Reservoir and the Tet offensive, a Korean prisoner of war and the Marine Detachment 1st Sgt. on the USS Franklin D. Roosevelt CVA42. Waller was also named Veteran of the Year in November during the annual Veterans Day ceremony at the Troup County Veterans Memorial.

“He was a very active member of our detachment until he passed away in April,” said L. Bernard Bledsoe Jr., a member of the Marine Corps League. “Members of our organization decided they wanted to change the name of our detachment from PFC George Eiland, who was killed in Iwo Jima, to the first sergeant Charles Waller detachment, recognizing his contribution to forming and working with our detachment from the time it was formed.”

There were dozens of Waller’s family members at Monday night’s meeting, some of them holding back tears after the presentation.

“It’s an honor, but he would not ask for it. I appreciate the fact that he will not go softly into the night. He will always be here,” said daughter Mae Waller-Turner. “I remember somebody telling me when I was young, as long as you see a person’s name they are still here. He’ll always be here.”

Another daughter, Hazel Waller-Sosebee said as her dad grew older, he always talked about cutting back. Instead, he’d always add more duties.

He was there when Toys for Tots started with a few hundred toys.

Now, thousands of toys are brought in each year.

“Cut down meant I’m doing more,” Sosebee said.

The Charles Waller Detachment 1040 has 30 members, with its primary goals to be supporting the marine corps, active duty marines, veterans and their families and to be leaders in the community.