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Taylor-made: Airman unloads surprise shipment

Most of the time Afghanistan seems a world away from home for Maplesville’s own Max Seales.

But the Air Force airman recently got a reminder that it’s a small world after all.

While unloading a cargo plane, Seales was surprised to find a shipment of wood from Maplesville-based Taylor-Made Lumber.

“He was unloading an airplane, and there it was … his hometown in big letters,” said William Seales, Max’s father.

Max was so surprised by the reminder of home that he had a buddy snap a photo of him with the shipment, which he has since e-mailed to family and friends.

The photo also hangs in the window of Seales Grocery, a store the family operates on Alabama 22 in Maplesville.

“He was excited,” said Patty Crocker, Max’s sister. “Being in a place where you’re away from your family…it makes you wonder the world’s not that big after all.”

The elder Seales said the shipment also proves that even Small Town, U.S.A. makes a difference in the world.

Nobody is 100 percent sure how the wood ended up in Afghanistan or how it will be used.

Mike Reynolds with Taylor-Made said he sold the wood wholesale to a friend in Oregon, who must have then sold it to the government. Reynolds said that particular wood has multiple uses, including several in building construction.

Back at home, William and Max also work as welders, and Reynolds said he thinks Max has done some work for the company in the past.

“It makes him feel like he’s at home, unloading Taylor-Made lumber,” Reynolds said.

Seales, 22, is the son of William and Nancy Seales and a 2006 graduate of Maplesville High School.

He deployed to Iraq on March 10, after working loading cargo planes at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. He is due back to the States in September.

Max earned his pilot’s license just before his deployment from courses at the Shelby County Airport and hopes to be a cargo pilot after his service, his dad said.