Marlin Miller’s latest gift will soar at Keesler

           Marlin Miller is back in Biloxi, this time carving an eagle at the new BX and commissary at Keesler Air Force Base, where Miller came for electronics training in the 1980s. His sculpture will be dedicated during the grand opening of the building in April.


Marlin Miller is back where he started at Keesler Air Force Base, but this weekend he’s carving an eagle rather than training there.

Miller donated his time and talent to create about two dozen Katrina carvings in Biloxi from trees destroyed by the hurricane along U.S. 90.

His latest gift is to Keesler, where he was stationed in 1982.

“I went through electrical training here,” he said. “I’ve made this big circle now.”

The eagle he is carving is in the garden of the new $60 million BX and commissary.

“This eagle’s looking up,” he said. “This is a symbol of the trainees looking up and starting their careers.”

The tree, which was found on the Mississippi Coast Coliseum property had toppled during the storm. It was lifted back into place but didn’t survive.

Miller topped it a few weeks ago and crews from Keesler moved the 15,000-pound section five miles to the base and planted it 5 feet deep in reinforced concrete.

A 2005 penny — the year of Katrina — was tossed into the concrete before it dried.

Miller made the first big cuts Friday to create upright wings and the eagle’s head.

He hopes to have the carving done and the eagle ready for the first coat of varnish by the end of the weekend.

He’ll come from his home in Fort Walton Beach, Fla., next week to apply two more coats of varnish.

The sculpture will be dedicated along with the BX and commissary on April 6.


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