How one Iraq war veteran cut away his crippling depression through working with wood

Great State
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ANADARKO, OKLAHOMA -- At his worst, a few years after coming home injured from Army deployment to Iraq, every path Shane Mayall took led him back to the same place.

"I felt like a failure," he recalls. "I was just depressed. During a part of that I didn't leave the house for about 9 months."

It was his eldest daughter that recognized his depression symptoms and he decided to reassess his surroundings.

"I knew I had to make a change," says Mayall.

Shane got an old shop teacher to show him how to build a good rocking chair.

Not long after, he took a couple of carving classes with other struggling vets.

Pretty soon he saw those thick cedars as more of a solution than a block to straighter paths.

Shane points out, "The therapeutic aspect of that is taking your mind off what it is that's bothering you.
You get yourself into a piece of wood and everything else goes away."

Shane's furniture business is Hog Creek Log Furniture.

His carvings are still therapy, a surrender to going with the grain, and the sound of a sharp tool.

"You're all in focused on what you're carving and your mind just goes to that, and it's free," he states.

Shane's other therapy now is walking the woods in back of his place west of Anadarko.

He takes other veterans on outdoor trips, mostly hunting.

"Get them back in the outdoors and get that brotherhood back together."

His carvings, including these crosses, made it into one of the top western galleries in the U.S., the Wild West Design Gallery in Cody, Wyoming.

The crosses, the etchings, the lamps, and the carved benches his girls use to pile their homework on, they're more than just a way to buy groceries for the Mayalls.

Shane's log furniture can be located at

His non-profit is here.

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