Jess Jiang

Matt Lammers was completely alone the first time we met.

The cigarette butts and old ammunition cans clearly marked his apartment door. Camouflage netting blocked the Arizona sun, but it also sent a message: this guy was still in Iraq. I knocked on the door at 9 a.m. and woke him from the only hour of sleep he'd had all night.

He apologized. I apologized. And after a couple hours killing time around Tucson, I came back. Lammers rolled out his door for a smoke in a manual wheelchair, shirtless. Which saved questions — scars and ink tell his story.

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Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST: